Mental Floss

Armchair Field Trip: The World's Largest Truck Stop

Stacy Conradt
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You probably know that Iowa grows a lot of corn. You probably know that the Field of Dreams was filmed here. You might know that Ashton Kutcher is from Iowa, and you might know that Buddy Holly's fatal plane crash was in Iowa. But you probably don't know that Iowa is home to one of the strangest attractions in the U.S. It's the World's Largest Truckstop, located on I-80 between Iowa City and Davenport. Just how large, you ask? Well, it sits on 220 acres, which is about twice as big as Disneyland. Only 75 acres are developed at this point, but the potential for expansion is there.

The I-80 truck stop didn't start as such a behemoth, though. It opened in 1964, when I-80 was still in its infancy, or at least in its toddler stages. It was just a tiny white building stuck smack in the middle of a cornfield "“ two diesel pumps and a restaurant.

semi mural
semi mural /

It grew as I-80 grew and now employs 450 people. The town the truck stop calls home, Walcott, has a population of about 1,500, if that tells you anything. I'm sure people from outside of Walcott work there too, but it goes to show you that it's a pretty huge employer in the area. (Lots of crazy photos after the jump!)

I've been roadtripping a lot lately, so I've had the pleasure of hitting up the I-80 truck stop two or three times in the past two weeks.

Here are just a few of the delights that this wonder offers:

nunchuks
nunchuks /
general lee
general lee /
truckers gone wild
truckers gone wild /
presidents playing poker
presidents playing poker /
alfalfa
alfalfa /

Oh, there are more pictures from my stop here, but I'll let you decide if you want to see them.

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