There is something magical about truck stops. They aren't magical in the Disney sense - anyone who has ever used a truck stop restroom can certainly understand why - but they do possess a certain level of mystery and worldliness that permeates my love for a good road trip.
Truck stops exist mostly to serve truck drivers; they also provide a place where people of all social classes can intermingle. If alcohol is the universal solvent for people in social situations then truck stops are a universal magnet bringing diverse people together in the first place (if only for a moment).
I am not saying that I love truck stops, nor that I would want to live next to one. Each of my visits are brief and metered by the time it takes to fill an empty tank. Indeed, it is probably this transient relationship with truck stops that allows my fascination to continue.
Particularly during childhood trips to the east coast, when we would stop late at night, I would marvel at the showers for truckers, the bin of old cassette tapes, the pre-packaged cherry pie wedges, and the greasy spoon restaurant dotted with weary travelers. Even at the age of 27 this subculture of living on the road still draws out my curiosity and engages my imagination.