I-80 extravaganza: A collection of crap from the world's largest truck stop

Categories: Shopping

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There's a lot of random stuff to see along the narrow strip of middle America that is I-80 -- Buffalo Bill's Ranch and a generous handful of RV parks, for example -- but the crown jewel of that stretch of road is most certainly the I-80 Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa, which proudly bestows upon itself the somewhat dubious distinction of being the world's largest truck stop. It's a monument to transience that's something of a destination in its own right, so on my really long drive over the weekend from Michigan back to Denver (it's my home state), I stopped through to see what kind of fabulous crap middle America might buy. I was not disappointed.

The front of the place houses most of the knick-knacks and such the truck stop has to offer for people who either favor home decor that comes from truck stops or forgot to get somebody a souvenir. The second one seems more likely, but then again, this carving featuring not one but three wolves was prohibitively priced:

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For the thriftier person who enjoys mystic-wolf-type tchotchkes, several shelves of smaller figurines were also available:

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Yeah, that's Jesus there in the lower left-hand corner, and no doubt the Lord figured prominently into the other home-decor options. Some of them, though, were just flat-out bizarre.

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Nevertheless, the I-80 Truck Stop is not all about worthless paraphernalia -- there's also a large collection of crap you can use. My eight-year-old son and I particularly enjoyed the wide array of coon-skin caps.

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