US Route 65 runs north-south across all of Iowa's central backbone, staying a short distance east of Interstate 35 while in the state of Iowa. Though US Route 65 and US Route 69 both compete to be Interstate 35's best friend, US Route 65 does a slightly worse job, having a slightly wider spacing from the Interstate. Its journey across Iowa includes service to Indianola, Des Moines, and Iowa Falls, and US Route 65 is the main north-south highway through Mason City as well. In the small town of Lineville, Iowa, presumably named after its position on the Missouri state line, US Route 65 makes its first appearance in the state of Iowa, heading north. After passing through Lucas, US Route 65 joins US Route 69 in Marion County, and both routes run concurrently through Indianola. The concurrency lasts until the southern edge of Des Moines, where US Route 65 joins the circumferential freeway around the city's southeast side. Iowa Route 5 occupies the southern east-west leg of the freeway, and US Route 65 joins the freeway east to bend northerly and form the eastern north-south leg of the freeway. The freeway ends at Interstate 80 near Altoona, and US Route 65 jumps on Interstate 80 east to the next exit, a single mile away. US Route 65 and Iowa Route 330 run northeasterly together from this exit, until they split up halfway to Marshalltown. US Route 65 heads north through Iowa Falls and Hampton as a two-lane highway. However, at the Avenue of the Saints expressway, carrying US Route 18 and Iowa Route 27, US Route 65 becomes a four-lane road through Mason City. It goes back to a two-lane highway as it leaves Mason City for the Minnesota border. US Route 65 leaves Iowa between Northwood, Iowa, and Albert Lea, Minnesota (where it will soon end).