|We enjoyed our first sunny day in over a week and it did wonders for our happiness index. If you are wondering where Tea, SD is, it's a suburb of Sioux Falls. Before we tell you about this area, I need to tell you about our departure this morning from the Blue Ox Factory.
What a company!! Blue Ox certainly convinced us they are concerned foremost about their customers. Yesterday afternoon we enjoyed a personal tour led by Mark Glaubius, Human Resources Director. Just the 3 of us, so we could ask lots of questions and get a tour that was one on one. The company had 125 full time employees (FTEs) until the economy turned sour in 2008, and today they have about 95 FTEs. They trimmed and the company and employees both are doing well. The average employee works about 45 hours/week. After the tour was completed, we were wrapping up with Mike Swan, Customer Care, in the visitors lounge and discussing some of Blue Ox's other products. The president of the company interrupted and asked Mike to step out for a moment. When he returned, he mentioned the president was concerned about how our safety cables were attached to the front of our CRV and they wanted to keep our car overnight to correct the problem.
We switched keys and they gave us a company pick-up to use overnight if we needed to go anywhere in the area. This morning our CRV was returned to us, but the safety cables were no longer obvious. The shop that had installed them had taken shortcuts and not disguised them the way Blue Ox wants them disguised. No charge! They just didn't want us to have an improper install, even though it wasn't their fault. Mike also gave us a new $40 hitch cover for no charge. The other day when we left Canning Creek, we left in a hurry with the temperature at 35 and a stiff wind blowing. When I removed the hitch cover, I placed it up on the bike rack and proceeded to finish the hook up of the car. You guessed it, when the hook up was complete, I hurried back to the warmth of the motorhome to get out of the seriously cold wind chill and forgot about the hitch cover. We didn't miss it until we were about 100 miles up the road. Too far to go back and look for it. So today Mike stepped up and covered the cost. His comment, "We take care of our customers and want them to be happy." Well Dick and Bev are believers in this All American Company.
As we crossed the Missouri River earlier today, we noticed it was looking very full, not flooding, but it looks like it wouldn't take much more water. There is still some snow banks in the shady spots and water is standing in the ditches along the highways. Around Madison, the lakes are still frozen.
We picked up our mail at the forwarding service in Madison and started the paperwork for vehicle licensing, drivers licenses and residency status. No written driver's test with a valid California license, just have to pass the eye exam.
The Red Barn RV Park has about 70 full hook-up sites with wifi. The park is just starting to come to life for the season. I didn't realize how far north and cool this part of the country is at this time of the year. If the park were more occupied, the spaces would feel like they might be a bit close for our comfort. The park used to be a farm and the old red barn is still on the property. The gentlemen who owns the park has been here since he was a boy and the property was farmed by his parents. He and his wife have a 3 year old raccoon as a pet that was abandoned by its mother. Anyway, today the coon weighs in at a hefty 50 lbs. That's a big critter.
Tomorrow we will start heading toward Forest City, Iowa for our service appointment next week. We'll check in again soon.........