Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pender and Blue Ox

Today was a short travel day, just over 100 miles, from Bellevue to Pender, NE, home of Blue Ox, with a brief stop to get two rock chips on the windshield repaired. Blue Ox entry

If you Google “blue ox” the first thing that appears is a link to the company’s home page, with the statement: Blue Ox Towing Products is the leading manufacturer of towbars, baseplates, braking systems, towing accessories, hitches, and steering controls.

Upon our arrival in Pender, we had no trouble finding Blue Ox. We had been pre-assigned site #9 in their very nice, full-hookup RV park adjacent to the manufacturing plant. However, site #9 seemed to have been appropriated for another purpose. Site 9 

I walked across the grassy berm to the building.Blue Ox side entry

Laura apologized about the mulch being on our site, and gave us site #12 instead. A walk back to the campground showed that site to be in use also.Site 12

I decided it was time to unhitch Carrie (the car) and drive around to talk with Laura again. She couldn’t believe that site #12 was occupied – it was supposed to be empty! I assured her it was indeed occupied. I should explain that the RV park has 14 full hookup sites, and only 3 of them had RVs on them, so it shouldn’t have been so difficult to find us an available site! Anyway, Laura really apologized and asked if we minded having to back in to a site. Mind? No, we do it all the time! So she gave us site #6, which is just fine. (I still don’t know what was wrong with sites #11, 13 and 14, all of which are pull-in sites…Oh Well! Anyhow, I like our back-in site better because we have shade from the motorhome on our patio side, and the pull-in sites don’t.)

Site 6

Shadow loves the grass here!Grass He *really* loves it!Grass2

You might have noticed that most of the sites are fairly level gravel, with very nice grass in between. They’re quite large with plenty of room between sites. If we had been able to stay in site #9, it has a concrete slab and patio. But we’re fine where we are. However, we couldn’t help but notice that site #8 is evidently occupied by a company VIP, given the looks of the RV and its site.


The Essex is a high-end diesel pusher made by Newmar. I found a 2008 (used) now for sale for just over twice what we paid for our 2008 Phaeton motorhome when we bought it new 2 1/2 years ago. Now, that’s what I call high-end $$$$$$! This site’s landscaping, patio furniture and elaborate grilling area, along with the full concrete pad and patio told us the place is for someone special! We have yet to talk with the occupant, but he drove up a few minutes after 5:00 pm in an SUV with a South Dakota license plate “BLUEOX03.”

Upon touring the company and reading about its history, we learned that the roots of the company go back to 1926, producing agricultural products. To read more about the history of the company, visit: http://www.blueox.us/aboutus/history.htm

The Kar-Tote was developed in 1984. We saw an example of this first car dolly manufactured by an automatic machine on our company tour. Dolly

Mark, from HR, led our personalized tour. He offers tours at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm daily.Mark and Don

Later, we took a drive through the town of Pender, a pretty little midwest town of about 1100 people.Pender sign Although Welsh’s advertises in the RV park’s brochure, we decided not to eat there.Welsh's

This cafe was ruled out, too.Cafe

Our lunch at PoPo’s was nice, though, and we may go back for more onion straws tomorrow. Yumm!Popo's Popo's 2

I love small town residential districts. People seem to take pride in the appearance and upkeep of their homes and neighborhoods.Pender residential Church

The supermarket was, as warned, not easy to identify as a supermarket.Supermarket

It’s in an 1892 building being restored. Super facade

It’s small and not as resourceful as a Wal-Mart Supercenter, but adequate for what we needed. And there was no waiting at the check-out. Supermarket inside

By the way, Don’s getting really good at putting on the Magne Shades. He only needs about 25 seconds to put on the windshield shade, and about 5 seconds for the side windows. Magne Shade 1 Magne Shade 2Magne Shade 3

Tomorrow, we hope to find this Heritage Museum open so we can learn more about the area.Heritage Museum

And a real plus – today’s travel was uneventful and the weather was beautiful! Life is good.

P.S. The SUV and Essex belong to the company president; the license plate on the Essex is BLUEOX01, and I’ll bet his wife’s car is BLUEOX02.


  1. When we were there, we enjoyed our stay in their park. They had an ice cream social at that rig (I think it was the same). Very friendly folk.

  2. Guess we can't go there -- we use a RoadMaster tow bar. But what fun!

  3. Enjoyed reading your post! Pender looks like a pretty town. Our tow bar is a Blue Ox, too....we may have to go over there some time and take the tour. Hugs, J&C


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