Jun 042012

Yesterday was a slow day here at the Blue Ox factory campground in Pender, Nebraska. But I don’t know if they have a lot of busy days in Pender. The folks we have met here in town same to move at a more laid-back pace, which is just fine with us.

We were awakened early by the sound of a thunderstorm rolling in and rain on our motorhome’s rooftop. The rain didn’t last long, but the thunder boomed for a while. I figured that Mother Nature didn’t need any help from me so I just rolled over and went back to sleep for a while.

When we finally did get out of bed we just puttered around for a while, checking our favorite blogs, answering e-mails, and enjoying not having any place we had to be or anything we had to do all day long. Terry said it was nice to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee, and follow it up with another cup instead of having to take a couple of quick sips and pour it into a travel mug.

It was a hot day, with the temperature climbing up in the low 90s, making us really appreciate the basement air conditioner in our Winnebago.

Terry was planning to make pasta for dinner and I was really looking forward to it. But after she had started her sauce she realized that the Italian sausage she had planned to use looked a bit suspect. So we decided to drive into town and see if we could find a grocery store.

As it turns out, there’s not much open in Pender on Sunday afternoon, including a grocery store. I did a quick search on my Droid and found a grocery store in the town of Walthill, about 12 miles east of us. I called to confirm they were open and learned that we had 35 minutes to get there. No problem, even on the two-lane rural roads in this area. Walthill is even smaller than Pender, but Terry was able to find a package of sausage in the small grocery store, so we made our purchase and headed home.

When we got back to the campground I spent some time updating our Free Campground guide and Fairgrounds RV Parking guide while Terry finished making dinner. It was delicious, and well worth the quick trip to Walthill. That lady sure does know how to cook!

After dinner I added several new seminars to the Ohio rally schedule. As of right now, we have six vendor seminar spots and three regular seminar spots left open. So if you are a vendor and plan to be at the rally and want a seminar, time is running out. At every rally we have vendors who are disappointed because they waited until the very last minute to register and then didn’t get a seminar. Then they want me to move Heaven and Hell to accommodate them. A friend of mine had a sign hanging in his office that said “Poor planning in your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” That kind of applies here. One of the most stressful parts of our rallies is the constant last-minute changes we have to make to seminar schedules because of this. We decided after Yuma this year that if we’re going to continue to hold two rallies a year, we need to simplify things. And that includes the seminar schedule. So once it’s done, I’m sorry, it’s done.

Today we are going to tour the Blue Ox factory and they’re going to service our tow bar. In my opinion Blue Ox makes the best towing products on the market, but any piece of equipment needs maintenance to keep it in top form. And what better place than the factory to check things out for us? I also want them to look at the receiver hitch on our motorhome and see what kind of shape it’s in. Preventive maintenance and a little bit of money spent to keep things in good condition is a lot cheaper and a lot better than paying for emergency repairs somewhere on the road.

I’m not sure if we will stay here in Pender another night or not, depending on how soon we get everything done today. It’s about 125 miles up to Sioux Falls, where we need to get our drivers licenses renewed. So if we finish up early enough today we will drive up there in the afternoon. If not, we’ll see if we can take advantage of the good folks’ hospitality here at Blue Ox for one more night.

Thought For The Day – People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “A Quick Trip On A Slow Day”

  1. One of the thing you might do is write a blog sometime about the difference in culture you have found in different parts of the country. You mention the friendliness of the small midwest towns. I don’t think people are any more or less friendly in any part of the country, it is just the different levels of how reserve they are … major city seem to be much alike. Having observed the differences and being of particularly contrary personality, I like to smile and speak to people on the street in the more reserved cultures just to see the reactions 🙂

  2. We stopped & stayed at Blue Ox a few years back. We tow with Roadmaster products, but as Escapees Blue Ox extended their hospitality to us.

    We were in the space next to the owner, who had his rig in his spot. They invited us to a BBQ lunch with all the trimmings.

    The factory tour was super. Blue Ox is one of the Good Guys.

  3. On your way to Sioux Falls, take the scenic route through Newcastle where both Mac and I graduated high school then take the Newcastle/Vermillion bridge over the Missouri River which my dad and a classmate of Mac’s were both very instrumental in getting the bridge built. Wish I had kept up with you blog and I would have come up to Pender to say “Hi!” Happy Trails.

  4. We have lived in various parts of the USA over our lifetime of 6+ decades, and oh yes there IS TOO a difference in friendliness and helpfulness in the different parts of the country. I have a friend in Kansas who moved there maybe 6 years ago or so. She has found incredibly helpful people and she has really needed that, now alone and somewhat handicapped even. She really has nothing to give back, so they are not doing it for any ulterior motive, obviously.

    Cities are often alike but we have found differences there too. We lived nearly 15 years in the most awful place ever in the middle of one state, and yet if you go to either extreme sides of that state it is a world of difference. We found few people who wanted any kind of real friendships there. I worked for a time in a drugstore there and had several newcomers ask me WHAT WAS WRONG with that town…I told them, “Oh you noticed? I thought it was just me. Well, if you can, put on your running shoes baby and get ottta here while you can!!” Two of our best friends ever we met there…however, they did not like it either and one was able to get away…lives in Illinois now.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Nick. I do appreciate that you tell it how it is!! Very helpful!! And why not put some of our travel dollars into going to these wonderful places?? Help their economies what we can!!

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