Dudley’s Corner, Latimer, IA

By all means, Dudley’s Corner is pretty bad. The place looks old and dated and the bathrooms are nasty. Honestly, it’s one of the worst gas stations I’ve encountered in the Upper Midwest.

But for some reason, I keep coming back. Being impulsive and not planning gas stops, yet having consistent driving habits, I had to get gas in the same location, which amounted to exit 165 on I35.

Actually, the first time Dudley’s really burned into my memory was during my pre-blogging days when I took a road trip to Lincoln, NE. Dudley’s is conveniently the midpoint between Marshfield, WI and Lincoln. I found myself stopping here often without really thinking about it almost every time I’d drive back to Texas from Wisconsin.

Over the years, I’ve seen it change, evolving in some ways, devolving in others. It’s actually become kind of a sentimental stop. I originally knew the gas station was there, because of the blue sign. Well this is the devolving part. They must have decided for whatever reason they no longer needed to be on that sign.

Dudley’s Corner was once a Shell station, but they got rid of that.

For the longest time, they got rid of the sign out front.

Eventually, they rebranded with this weird lion thing.

That’s good, because they’re kind of in a hole that’s hard to see from the interstate.

In the whole scheme of things, the outside just looks a little dated and neglected, but everything seems to be operable, which is the important thing.

It appears that Dudley’s is not just a midway point for me driving from Marshfield to Lincoln. It’s a midway point for a bus line and serves as a bus station.

Like I said, the bathrooms are disgusting. I guess one benefit of them is it makes trips to them extremely fast.

The store is decent overall and actually has a wide variety of random souvenirs.

There is a restaurant that I’ve read is actually pretty good overall with really reasonable prices. I’ve never tried it since I was passing through quickly and the condition of the bathrooms has made me wary.

If I do buy something, it’s usually pre-packaged.

Dudley’s holds a special place in my heart. The crazy thing is this place isn’t that bad in the whole scheme of things. Yes, it’s one of the worst I’ve encountered in the Upper Midwest, but generally Upper Midwestern bathrooms are very clean. If Dudley’s took pride in a clean bathroom and spruced a few things up, they’d be pretty decent. Maybe then I’d try their restaurant out. For the time being, I’ll keep dropping by every here and there for a nostalgia-filled gas stop.

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