If you’re within 300 miles of College Station in any direction, you’re probably close to a Buc-ee’s or a least passed one on your way from here to there. Last weekend, I finally got the Buc-ee’s experience. After 11 months in Texas, I finally understand why these way stations of comfort are a big deal.
All I knew to expect was clean bathrooms. And I can confirm that they are, in fact, clean and the stalls large, with noise-dampening floor to ceiling doors (why are these not the norm?). However, I did not expect a Texas-style wonderland of snacks, meaty deli foods, home decor, and yard supplies. For example, there was an entire aisle of different flavored popcorns (hello, cinnamon-maple!) and another aisle dedicated to chips. I also discovered the curiously monikered Beaver Nuggets
(perhaps a vegetarian complement to Rocky Mountain oysters? How does Buc-ee feel about these?), which sounded like pure sugary delight. At one point, a cart laden with freshly made fudge or brownies passed me, or maybe they were cake balls; regardless, it was chocolate. I didn’t have time to explore the home goods section, but I’m more food oriented anyway, although that was not apparent from my purchases. While my friends purchased yogurt pretzels and one of those glorious bags of popcorn, I grabbed small bags of marinated asparagus spears and sprouted mung bean and seed things. In my defense, having a broken digestive system is what led me to pick, as someone observed, the weirdest food available.
I’m used to rest stops with damp floors, cold metal toilets, and maybe a few picnic tables. Once, there was free coffee (disgusting, but free stuff!). Buc-ee’s is the rest stop of a parallel universe. Plus, it’s also a good place to buy that housewarming or birthday gift or potluck contribution you may have forgotten on your travels to Houston, or San Antonio, or wherever that day’s adventures are taking you.
Plus, Buc-ee’s minimum wage is $14/hr. According to an article in the Texas Tribune
, that's only 66 cents below a living wage for the state.
---Theresa Hernandez (she/hers, they/them)