Tag Archives: pennsylvania

Iowa 80- The Worlds Largest Truck Stop and more!

We spent the past few weeks on an unscheduled trip to Forest City, Iowa and the manufacturing facility of Winnebego.  While Iowa was cool and all, we were excited to be back on the road in a fully working coach again.

After contacting our new employer at the KOA in Boston/Cape Cod, and given the go-ahead, we were on the road again heading to our end of summer job in New England.

But we had to make one final stop before we left the state of Iowa.  You see, on the eastern edge of Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River, is the World’s Largest Truckstop!  We had seen it featured on several travel shows and we certainly couldn’t drive right by it without checking it out!

The Iowa 80 Truckstop, established in 1964, features eight restaurants, a convenience store, gift store, Super Truck Showroom, barber shop, chiropractor, dentist, movie theater, workout room, laundry facilities, gas islands, diesel fuel center, truck service center, Truckomat truck wash, Dogomat pet wash, CAT Scale, 24- private showers, trucking museum and more!

Yep.  It’s a small city in one truck stop!

The truck stop itself is set on 220 acres, which is four times larger than the average truck stop.  They receive nearly 5,000 visitors daily in the main building, have parking for 900 trucks, and 150 fuel pumps.

And the store is simply Disney Land for truckers and those that love the industry!  You name it, they had it.

Need a back massage?  They have a Chiropractor for that!  Tooth hurts?  There is a Dentist on call!  Doggies dirty?  Step up to the Dog-O-Mat!

Need a cup that is bigger than your head?  They totally have your back!

Don’t miss the chance to check out the Iowa80 Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa.  It is well worth the time.  Craziness!

In Indiana and Pennsylvania, we traveled through quite a bit of Amish Country.  This gentleman in the photo above was driving into work.  He apparently worked at the KOA that we were staying at in Mercer/Grove City Pennsylvania!

We are huge fans of Amish cooking.  It’s pretty amazing.  So, of course we stocked up.  Those packages of noodles?  Well they were made in Middlebury, Indiana.  There were several noodle factories, run by the Amish, right nearby!

Soon, our trip took us to our final destination!

This will be our spot for the next several months at the Boston/Cape Cod KOA.  We will be here until just past Columbus Day weekend, as work campers.

We love our tiny spot tucked into the woods!

And finally we can add a little cash to our suffering checkbook!

Our new jobs are in housekeeping!

Dave has always done the laundry, so I used to pride myself in saying that I haven’t done laundry in 25 years.  That is no longer something that I can say.  LOL!

Stay tuned for lots of great photos and sights to see in the Boston Cape Cod area!  We are so excited to finally make it here!


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Beautiful and historic Hershey, PA!

Seems like the further we head north, the more we go back in time.  We left spring behind somewhere on the Pennsylvania line, and were met with chilly weather and trees that have just now started recovering from a harsh winter.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

The Hershey Johnstown KOA was our campground of choice.  Tucked in beside the beautiful Swatara creek, we loved the ambiance of this little campground!  Our rig was a bit to big to fit in the spaces along the creek, so we were set back on the wooded side, but walking the dogs was a treat here.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

Of course when in Hershey, one must go see what all the fuss is about!  And if it required eating chocolate, well Dave and I would just have to make the sacrifice.  We are just that dedicated…

Dave and I are history buffs, so we were excited to learn everything we could about this interesting town and the man that originated it.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

The Hershey Company originated with candy-manufacturer Milton Hershey’s decision in 1894 to produce sweet chocolate as a coating for his caramels. In 1900, the company began producing milk chocolate in bars, wafers and other shapes.

Hershey used mass production in his factories and was able to lower the per-unit cost and make milk chocolate, once a luxury item for the wealthy, affordable to all.

hershey koa pennsylvania camping

Our first stop was at Hershey’s Chocolate World.  Entrance is free, which is totally up our alley.  Chocolate as far as you could see.   I made Dave put that humongous Hershey kiss back.  And then we both backed slowly away…

Fun Fact: Did you know that Hershey’s kisses have been around since 1907?

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

We then took the free Hershey’s Chocolate Tour.  It was about a 10 minute ride through a Hershey “factory” where some animated cows show you how chocolate bars are made.  It was campy and fun!  And that cow song “Hershey’s Milk Chocolate!” will stick in your head.

Literally for days.

Oh, and you get chocolate at the end of the ride!

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

HERSHEY’S markets its products in approximately 70 countries worldwide. They currently have around 14,000 employees and net sales in excess of $6.6 billion.

And the cool thing is that The Hershey Company remains committed to the vision and values of the man who started it all so many years ago.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

For a small fee, we took the Hershey Trolley Works tour of the city, where we were told the history of the city, the Hershey Company and Milton Hershey, the founder.

One of the stops was the Milton Hershey School.  We were able to go inside, but I have to tell you that my camera just didn’t do it justice.  So here is a short video that talks a bit about the school and it’s history.

In 1918, Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine Hershey, donated all of their considerable wealth, of around 60 million dollars, to the boarding school upon Catherine Hershey’s death. Before his own death in 1945, Milton Hershey ensured the school would live on by donating 30% of all future Hershey profits to the school.

Due to this generous donation, Milton Hershey School now has over 7 billion dollars in assets, making it one of the richest schools in the world.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

Part of the trolley ride included driving by the Hershey mansion, which is the home that Milton built for his beloved wife in the early 1900’s.  It now serves as an office building for those that handle the Milton Hershey School trust.

We learned a whole lot on our tour of Hershey and highly recommend the Trolley rides and the free Hershey’s Chocolate tour.

Special Note: Due to the time of year, we did not have to deal with crowds.  If you happen to be in the area during the summer season, be prepared.  They told us that the population of Hershey triples during the height of the summer season.

Our next stop is the coast of Connecticut.  See you there!.

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