Located about eight miles east of the Missouri River on the shores of Rock Creek in the Loess Hill Bluffs of Missouri is Rock Port, a city with some interesting beginnings.
In 1839, a bloodless border dispute between Missouri and Iowa led to what was called the Honey War after a Missouri tax collector in Iowa cut down three “bee trees” to collect the honey inside of them in lieu of collecting taxes.
The Honey War finally ended in Iowa’s favor when, in 1851, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Missouri’s northern border be shifted farther south by about 9 ½ miles. As a result, Atchison County, Missouri’s county seat of Linden was now in Iowa. So, with a little quick thinking, the city of Rock Port was laid out and became the new county seat.
Today, Rock Port’s claim to fame is being the first city in America that runs on 100% wind power. Four Suzlon 1.25-megawatt wind turbines at nearby Loess Hills Wind Farm provide Rock Port with around 13 million kWh per year.
By the time the last 18.7-mile section of Interstate 29 was completed in Atchison County on July 28, 1976, a travel hub had already started being built west of Rock Port. As a result, today you’ll find daytime roadtrippers, family vacationers, business travelers, and truckers stopping by Rock Ports nearby gas stations, convenience stores, motels, fast food, restaurants, fireworks stands and truck stops.
Stuckey’s of Rock Port
At one of those truck stops, the Trail’s End Truck and Auto Plaza, along with a Subway, a Chester’s Chicken, and a Dippin’ Dots, you’ll also find a Stuckey’s Express. So, be sure to stop on by eat fresh, grab some chicken on the run, and taste the fun. Then stock up on your favorite road trip snacks including the iconic Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll, classic Pecan Pralines, and crunchy sweet Hunky Dorey popcorn mix.
Once you’re ready to hit the road again, be sure to check out these other things to see and do near the Stuckey’s Express of Rock Port, Missouri.
Stoner Drug and Soda Fountain / Hamburg, IA
If you need a prescription filled while traveling along Iowa’s I-29 , there’s no better place to stop than Stoner Drug in Hamburg. While the name might make you think it’s a front for a new Cheech and Chong business venture, Stoner Drug was actually founded by Cosby Stoner way back in 1896. His first store was located just two blocks down from its present location on Main Street in Hamburg which was built sometime in the 1950s.
Today, about 95% of the drugstore’s business may be prescriptions, but the real prescription for happiness is found inside Stoner’s at one of Iowa’s best soda fountains.
So, whether you’re waiting for your prescription to be filled or just stopping by for a selfie, why not have a seat at the lunch counter and treat yourself to a classic Reuben sandwich or a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup? Order an old-fashioned phosphate soda to go along with it and finish it off with a fluffy cheesecake or monster sundae. And don’t forget to get yourself the obligatory t-shirt before you head out the door and back on the road again.
Sapp Bros. Travel Center / Percival, IA
The Sapp Bros. opened up their first truck plaza along 1-80 just west of Omaha, Nebraska, on June 7, 1971. The very next day, their first water tower was built to serve businesses along Nebraska’s Route 50 that didn’t have access to the city’s water. Shortly after, a handle and spout were added to the tank and the coffeepot water tower would become a local landmark. It has been the iconic symbol of Sapp Bros. Travel Centers ever since.
Today, the company has grown to 17 full-service, friendly travel centers that stretch from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Clearfield, Pennsylvania including the Sapp Bros. Travel Center in Percival, IA, complete with its own coffeepot water tower bearing the company’s well-known name.
Though it was inundated by flood waters during what many call the Great Flood of 2019, the travel center was up and running again by August of that year.
Nowadays, you can once again stop in the Percival location on your next trip along Iowa’s Interstate 29 for a fill up, a bite to eat at the Apple Barrel Restaurant, or a quick stop inside their “Mom Approved” restrooms. (Just don’t forget your selfie at the water tower before you leave!)
The Sapp Bros. Travel Center in Percival, IA, is open 24 hours. However, the Apple Barrel Restaurant is open from 6:00AM to 9:00 PM every day. What’s more, it’s probably best to take a selfie at the water tower during daylight hours.
Papa Burger Statue and Dairy Sweet / Auburn, NE
In 1963, the fast-food chain A&W introduced four choices of hamburgers based on four Burger Family members: Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger, and Baby Burger. As part of the promotion, each burger had a corresponding cartoon character statue created for it as an outside display for the brand.
Initially made by International Fiberglass (the “Muffler Man” people), about 200 Burger families, stood outside A&Ws across the country until 1974 when A&W introduced a new mascot – the Great Root Bear and store owners were encouraged to destroy their Burger Families as a result.
However, some statues did manage to survive one of which is the Papa Burger that currently stands out in front of the Dairy Sweet in Auburn.
Papa Burger stands about 8 1/2 feet tall and holds his three-foot-tall mug of root beer in his right hand while holding his signature burger – two 100% beef patties with two slices of melted American cheese topped off with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and the classic A&W Papa Sauce on a lightly toasted bun – aloft in his left hand.
What’s more, inside the Dairy Sweet, you can still enjoy a variety of burgers and other sandwiches along with some great frozen treats including their sundaes, snowstorms, shakes, and cones. The Dairy Sweet is open every day from 11:00AM to 9:00PM. Papa Burger is, of course, available for a selfie 24-hours-a-day.
Hmm. It seems this road trip turned into a food tour of sorts. Still, if you’re hungry for more things to see and do around a Stuckey’s on your next big adventure, check back here at the Stuckey’s Pecan Blog every Friday.
In the meantime, whether it’s a tri-state food tour along Interstate 29 or a cross-country road trip along the Lincoln Highway, be sure to take some Stuckey’s along for the ride.
Or even better: Before you even pull out of the driveway on your next big adventure, why not order your favorite road trip snacks from Stuckey’s and have them delivered right to your front door? After all, it isn’t really a road trip until you’ve had at least one of our iconic Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls. And let’s not forget our classic Pecan Pralines, our Hunkey Dorey popcorn and pecan mix, and other crunchy munchies that’ll help get your where you’re going.
Shop online for all of this and more only from stuckeys.com.
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road trips Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!