Remembering A Road Trip Through The American Midwest, A Story About Height

This is one of those stories and anecdotes that you should hear to understand just what is going on the world today, and especially of the US population in today’s modern times. This is a story about height.

About 3 and a half years ago right after I was laid off from my first corporate job after getting out of college, I found myself in one of the worst economic recessions that the US has ever seen. It was in the spring time and the leaves were finally blooming after a rather easy winter of milk weather. I decided that instead of battling it out against the other job seekers that had lost their jobs in the 2008-2009 time, I would take a road trip that I have always wanted to go on.

During my days in college, I had always wanted to go to the great midwest of the US and see what lied in that area. So about 1 week after I was laid off, I put some stuff in my car and took off for a trip that would last over 9 days, 4500 miles, and some great stories.

The path I took went like this Washington -> Idaho -> Montana – > North Dakota -> Minnesota -> Iowa -> Nebraska -> Utah -> Wyoming – > Idaho -> Oregon -> Washington.

I traveled from the west to the middle and back to the west again. In that time, I DEFINITELY noticed some major differences in the demographic of the towns and populations I passed.

The first thing I noticed is that as you go more towards the middle states, the towns move more towards the side of caucasians or native americans. In one Walmart in Minnesota, I was one of only two people who was non-caucasian. It was a very enlightening experience. The major thing I noticed about the people was that by the time I had reached the North Dakota area, the people I saw when I stopped either to use the bathroom or got gas seemed to get taller and taller.

I remember one stop I took either in North Dakota or Minnesota (probably Minnesota close to St. Cloud) where I noted that every single guy in a fast food stop was taller than me, even when I was wearing thick heeled boots. The height and size of these people were very noticeable.

I remember getting out to get gas when I drove up to Duluth, Minnesota and finding that the gas station worker was almost 6’7″. When I went to eat at a local buffet, the man who strode to the restaurant in front of me was probably a 6′ 9″ giant who didn’t seem all out of place in the city. I saw many families eating and I seemed like many of the adult men were taller than me.

When I finally left Minnesota, I drove down south to Iowa and I stopped by Cedar Springs at a local Walmart. It was there that I was greeted by a Subway Sandwich maker who was probably 6′ 8″ and I decided to sit down and just watch the people walk by. I made a specific point to note the people who were buying things and using the checkout counter. Every single man at that Walmart was taller than me, which would have put them at least 6′ 3″ or taller. I watched maybe 30 men pass through the checkout counters while I was eating my sandwich and not one was shorter than me.

When I decided to do some shopping and buy some provisions for the drive ahead, I saw who I still claim to this day is the tallest person I have ever seen in my life! 

Now, in my life I have lived in many areas of the US and I have seen my share of tall people. I have definitely seen at least 1 dozen 7 footers, once I realized that the top of most doorways in commercial building are at the 7 feet mark. I have seen many guys duck their head when they have to walk through a door way. At one point, I am almost positive I was seeing 1 footer every 6 weeks, at least last year around the Seattle area where I was living. I couldn’t understand why there was so many giants all of a sudden. It’s not like I go out a lot and see many people.

I have run in marathons before and have been to state fairs. There is always a few really tall guys but they rarely get past the 6’7″-6’8″ mark. All of a sudden last year to the beginning of this year, I started noticing that a lot of really tall 7 foot men were around.

Getting back to the story, that man I saw in a Walmart in the city of Cedar Springs Iowa was amazingly tall. I swear that from about 30 feet away, he looked like he was about 7’2-7’3″, taller than even Shaq. The even more amazing thing was that this men was slouching a lot. He looked like he was in his 70s or 80s, with a curved back, and his grandson was walking right along side of him.

I had to leave to get back to my car but I remembered just his amazing size. Everyone at that Walmart was huge but this guy who was slouching was the biggest. From far away he looked like a true giant. If he was at his prime and stood up completely straight, I would say he would probably be around the 7′ 5″-7’6″ mark. I am not joking about this.

After that incident, I never noticed many other giants on that trip. However, that one stop in Iowa has forever burned into my mind an image of what people from the Midwest are like. They are big. Now, am I going to make the statement that caucasian people are taller than other ethnicities? From my observation in that trip, I would say there is a strong correlation.

The other story I wanted to share was one time I was at a Mall in a small town in Southern Idaho. As I was walking through the mall, I noticed what appeared to be young high school boys dressed very sharply for a formal event, probably a prom or dance or something. I noted that a group of these high school boys standing in a circle and laughing at something rather childish like most High School guys (I was in college at that time so I can say something like that). In that group, it was all white caucasian guys who were all very tall, some around the 6’3″-6’4″ range, and one asian male, I would guess Chinese, who was the only short one of the group who appeared to be around 5′ 7″-5’8″.

These two stories are the only examples that I can come up from which in my memory really stood out. From just these two stories, I have sort of formed already a generalization that it really does appear that certain ethnicities or races are just taller and bigger than others, and I would guess genetics have a lot to do with it. For me, It felt like that as I drove more and more into areas of the USA where the majority of people were “white” the taller and taller the populations and people seemed to be.

I don’t know what you want to take out of this anecdotal story but maybe you found some entertainment or insight from it.


3 thoughts on “Remembering A Road Trip Through The American Midwest, A Story About Height

  1. Jimmy

    It was probably a freakish coincidence. I have only seen one person around 7 feet in my life, and I live in a very large city.

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  3. Joe

    I grew up in Iowa and was always the smallest kid in my class, or at least it felt like I was a midget. Going back to class reunions there were a couple of guys shorter than me. 5’10”. But for the most part classmates were taller and several much taller. I didn’t find myself that small in college or on the job, but by that time I had been programmed to want to much taller.


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