Drivers moving west across Interstate 80 into Iowa experience the first undulations in terrain felt since Pennsylvania.
At night, numbed from hours on the road, its easy to confuse the sensation with flying.
Less than ten miles after crossing the Mississippi River — which marks the border between Illinois and Iowa — a red sign along the highway owns the dark abyss of a Midwestern horizon.
“Iowa 80” it says, and it’s the world’s largest truck stop.
It’s also an unexpected vision into a subculture unknown to most, but familiar to the particular kind of people that for their living pull things across a very, very big country.
Facilities include a gift shop, food court, restaurant, service center, and movie theatre. There are also many trucker-focused options including a chiropractor, dentist, and barber shop.
Driving is a nomadic existence, so the Moon Family, which has run Iowa 80 since 1965, helps provide truckers with easy access to services otherwise prohibitively inconvenient.
The 'Trucker's Jamboree' takes place every year in July at the truck stop. It's host to a carnival, antique truck show, and the 'Trucker Olympics.'
One can take a stance on whether they are a Peterbilt, International, Freightliner, or Kenworth person.
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