Ever heard of Wasta, South Dakota ? Well, neither had globetrotter Eva zu Beck, 32, before she set out on an epic road trip to explore some of the least visited states in America. In a new YouTube video, Eva starts her journey with a tour of Wasta, and she explains that the tiny town only has 65 full-time residents with the sparse spread of facilities including a gas station, motel and characterful bar.
One local she meets at the bar called Jerry, who owns a ranch and a barn, reveals that crime isn’t a problem in the north central state as a whole and the most important values are ‘family, religion and freedom.’ Asked if people should come and check out South Dakota and some of its smaller communities, Jerry replies: ‘I would recommend they come out and check out South Dakota but I hope they would leave their values home and not move to South Dakota bringing the wrong values here. Respect the the environment and you’ll have a good time in South Dakota. We have “The Land of the Infinite Variety,” Is what the state motto is. It’s beautiful out here and we enjoy every day.’
Another local Eva speaks to called Crystal, describes South Dakota in a similar way to Jerry. She muses: ‘[It’s] peaceful, serene, and the wide open spaces are priceless. It’s also a very diverse state.’ After checking out of Wasta, Eva is seen paying a visit to one of South Dakota’s biggest attractions; the Wall Drug store. According to the store’s website, it started out as a place selling free ice water and today, more than ‘two million visitors a year stop at the popular roadside attraction for a meal or activity, 5 cent coffee, and ice water – which is still free.’ As she films herself walking around the cavernous drug store, Eva is clearly bemused by the place. She tells viewers: ‘So what exactly is Wall Drug? I’m still trying to wrap my head around it but it is basically kind of like a truck stop but more like a theme park, slash souvenir store, slash novelty store, slash restaurant [stop]’ The other offerings, include ‘art galleries and all kinds of crazy Americana vibes.’
In one clip, a wall of taxidermy animals can be seen, while in another piece of footage an animatronic dinosaur installed in the store roars at Eva. Despite the randomness, Eva sums up Wall Drug as ‘amazing’ and she appears to enjoy her visit to ‘the most famous middle of nowhere store in all of America.’ The next state Eva visits in her video tour is Iowa. She says this is a state that she has only heard being talked about for its corn and farming ‘but not necessarily [for its] natural beauty.’
The avid traveler decides to visit one of the state’s biggest attractions, which comes in the form of the world’s biggest truck stop. Iowa 80 in Walcott sits on a 225 acre plot with 100,000 square feet of retail space, 900 parking spaces and it serves roughly 5,000 customers per day.
On stepping inside the place, Eva says: ‘So this truck stop, the moment you enter it, it’s just, it’s huge. It’s absolutely vast. And at first sight it does feel like a bit of a souvenir shop. But then when you look a little bit deeper it has a lot of infrastructure and a lot of other things that you could probably, I think you could keep yourself entertained for at least 24 hours here.’
On walking around the truck stop, Eva discovers an impressive mix of services including a dentist, driver’s lounge, movie theatre, chiropractor, ‘pretty sizeable’ laundry, arcade and barber. After giving the visitor attraction a whirl the travel pro, who has more than 843,000 followers on Instagram, says: ‘So to me, as a European, there’s a lot of things about this truck stop that are simply… astounding. And the sheer size is definitely one of them because we simply do not have truck stops anywhere this big anywhere in Europe, you know? But I think the craziest thing that I’ve just learned is that this truck stop has not closed a single time in 59 years. Not a single time. I mean, that just goes to show how much of an essential industry transport and trucking are to the world that we live in today. I got sticker and it definitely deserves a spot on the wall of fame.’
Before leaving the truck stop, Eva discovers a dog wash and she decides to give her pooch Milk a clean. As she continues her road trip east, Eva tells viewers that her visits to lesser-known states such as South Dakota and Iowa was ‘pretty eyeopening.’
She concludes: ‘This is after all the heartland of the USA, the areas that produce the most crops, the lands that feed the nation, the interstates that connect two sides of a massive and diverse continent. You can’t avoid it. Better embrace it. As for traveling out here, I think as long as you’ve got people to talk to and learn from, every single place can become a pretty fascinating travel destination. After all, travel isn’t just about places, really, it’s about the people you meet along the way.’
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Post source: The List