Thanks for the memories, Walcott!

Jul 21, 2021, 16:42 PM by NAIT
Whew – the Walcott Truckers Jamboree was just what the doctor ordered!

Whew – the Walcott Truckers Jamboree was just what the doctor ordered! (And despite Mother Nature trying to rain on the parade, everyone had a great time at #Iowa80.)

Thinking back on road trips of yesteryear, truck stops were a staple. Seeing the big rigs from faraway states like Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania was a lifeline to the open road. We kept an atlas in the glove box and would color in a state when we saw a truck from there.

Walcott brings back a lot of those memories. But, talking with those who visited the larger-than-life event also underlines how vital truckers are to the everyday lives of Americans.

Between bites of pork chop sandwiches, you’re able to get a grasp of how trucking is the thread that is woven into the fabric of our lives. Iowa is, of course, the heartbeat of corn country, and farmers rely on truckers to haul their grains, their cattle. But, these foods are staples for more than those putting food on the table.

And don’t think “truckers” are just big, burly men with 5 o’clock stubble or beards. We had the chance to talk with many female truckers – more than any show we’ve been to – about our Women in Trucking partnership.

And after a pork chop sandwich, who didn’t want some kettle corn?!

Peering across I-80 – which runs from San Francisco to Teaneck, New Jersey, and is one of the original routes of the Interstate Highway System – it seemed there was one semi for every three cars. … The view drives home the reality that truckers touch our lives from coast to coast.

(I-80 covers 2,899.59 miles and is the second-longest Interstate in the U.S., exceeded only by I-90’s 3,020.44 miles.)

Fun fact: About one-third of Iowa’s population lives along the I-80 corridor, extending from Council Bluffs in the west to Bettendorf in the east at the Mississippi River. Northwest of Davenport is Walcott, which boasts the World’s Largest Truckstop.

While we basked in the sunshine and a light breeze, the main truck stop at Iowa 80 beckons drivers with something for everyone – truck wash, new tires, a repair shop, plus several places to eat and a shopping area.

Wait! Did we mention the old truck and tractor museum?! It’s absolutely unbelievable, especially for an old farm boy who still gets raised heartbeat tinkering on anything “vintage.”

Looking west, San Francisco is about 1,900 miles from our viewpoint. To the east, Teaneck, N.J., is 950 miles in the distance. And still, #Iowa80 is the center of the universe during the Walcott Jamboree. Magnificent machines. Friendly folks. The sights and sounds of the family reunion (and it truly is that – a reunion of people with trucking in their blood) left a lasting impression. And the food!

Who else wants a hotdog and chips? Gonna grab a snow cone, too. (It’s true: Calories do not count if you’re on a road trip and walking while eating.)

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