Iowa Rest Stop, Stop #1 on The Well-Appointed Desk Summer Tour


Greetings from The Well-Appointed Desk summer road trip! That’s right, I had to stop at the legendary I-80 rest stop in Iowa that features a giant pen nib out front.


The site is designed to recognize the writing heritage of Iowa. From its universities to authors who’ve both lived in and traveled through Iowa, all writing is celebrated.


Not just giant pen nibs are featured, the lights around the property are pencils and the “erasers” are lights!


Each of the covered seating areas feature laser cut metal sheets with quotes. This is a Tennessee Williams quote.



On the floor inside is a quote from Jack Kerouac from On The Road: “…between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”

Well worth the stop!

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  1. I totally need to visit there. Too bad it’s on the opposite end of the state from my relatives. Where else are you going on this road trip?

  2. I love the quote about the building: “It has Iowa written all over it!”. And indeed…it does. I was amazed after moving here from Texas how well done the rest areas/ tourist stops are in Iowa. Each has a theme by a commissioned architect and artists, definitely worth stopping at even if you don’t “need” to.

  3. Thanks for taking me along on your journey. And hats off to Iowa for their well-designed public spaces – Missouri, please take note!

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