If you’re crossing the country this travel season, Blue Ox invites you to take a pleasant diversion into the heart of the great plains. Blue Ox is extending a special invitation to all RVers to visit its campground and manufacturing facility in Pender, eastern Nebraska. The Pender area also features a number of historic sites and lively recreational venues nearby.
All Blue Ox customers stay at the campground for free while getting their Blue Ox products serviced, as do members of Winnebago and Escapees RV clubs, while non-customers pay only $15 a night. The campground has 14 full sewer and electric hookups, with four primitive camping sites also available.
Tours of the Blue Ox manufacturing facility are conducted each weekday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Summer picnics and ice cream socials are planned at the campground, and of course, visitors may schedule maintenance on Blue Ox products. To make arrangements, or for more information, call toll-free (800) 228-9289 ext. 3107, or e-mail
[email protected]. Group tours are especially encouraged to call ahead.
Blue Ox is a leading manufacturer of tow bars, baseplates, braking systems, towing accessories, hitches, sport carriers and steering controls — all manufactured at its Pender facility. The plant tour shows the broad family of Blue Ox products.
Located just west of “The Wide Missouri,” and about 40 miles southwest of Sioux City, Iowa, Pender rests in an area where early explorers got their first look of the great west beyond the Missouri River. You can get a healthy taste of western flavor in nearby Bancroft, where you’ll find the John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, which celebrates the life and work of this Nebraskan. Neihardt, a famous poet and chronicler of western life and Indian culture, is best known for his poem, “Black Elk Speaks.”
For a different taste, head west to Pierce and the Cuthills Vineyards — Nebraska’s first winery — that produces wines from 100 percent Nebraska-grown grapes and raspberries. Sweet!
Also to the west is the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park (see “Fossilized History,” page 13 of this July’s issue of MotorHome), a National Natural Landmark that is open May to October. The unique fossil field was created by ash from a volcanic explosion 12 million years ago that left behind the skeletal fossils of a variety of prehistoric animals — preserved in their death positions — including giant camels, rhinos, horses, sabre-toothed deer (yes, deer!) and giant tortoises.
Heading back toward the Missouri River, you can take a historical and scenic tour on the Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway along U.S. Highway 75, between South Sioux City and Omaha. This celebrated scenic byway includes some spectacular views of wooded bluffs, historic waterways, open bottomlands and such sites as Fort Atkinson, the first military post west of the Missouri River.
Several casinos are also located in the Pender area, and there is a multitude of other recreational and entertainment options in nearby Sioux City as well as further south in Omaha.
With such a diversity of options available, and at a great value, you can’t go wrong stopping by to visit Blue Ox in Pender, Nebraska.