I"m brand new to your forum today. I'm wondering if you have some travel method ideas that I might not have thought about already. And - if you have some opinions on certain Amtrak lines.
I've travelled twice from SE Wisconsin to SE Missouri.
First, I travelled by Amtrak. The route was their Texas Eagle. I caught their connection in Milwaukee to Chicago - and then the same train all the way from Chicago to Poplar Bluff, Missouri. I had never gone Amtrak before and was so very disappointed. The staff, if you could find one of them, were really surly and mean. No one would help me at ANY time with my bags. This may sound wimpy, but I'm very small and carrying all my bags does hurt my physically because I'm not completely healthy - although I'm not disabled. The return trip was the worst, the engine had broken down in Texas and I waited 6-8 hours during the wee hours of the morning for it to arrive. When it arrived and my boyfriend was loading my bags and I turned around to quickly kiss him goodbye, the porter started yelling at us to hurry up. My boyfriend, having been in a bad temper from sitting at a cold bus stop all night when we could have slept instead really gave the guy a piece of his mind. (the large assistant laughed his head off at his tiny surly boss getting taken apart verbally). On the way down, we were stuck over a huge metal bridge in St. Louis for about 2 hours - which was disconcerting during the dark hours .. and we also went backwards on this bridge for a while. Frightening. On the way home, we lost all power under an overpass in Chicago and were stuck in the dark and the doors wouldn't work to go from car to car. It was sickening feeling claustrophobic like this.
So - having had this experience, I felt I would NEVER travel Amtrak again. But, I have heard rumors that each line is like its own company. And I heard that there is a line that runs from Chicago to Memphis called the City of New Orleans. It runs at better times of day than the other one for sure - no wee hours drop offs in Missouri. So - does anyone travel the City of New Orleans line? Is it better than what I experienced? Or am I a glutton for punishment thinking of trying this again.
Also - if I take Amtrak down to Memphis - I will be 201 miles from my destination in Missouri. I could have my boyfriend pick me up - but is there some other method of transportation from Memphis to SE Missouri? I hate to make him drive all that way.
My second trip was a drive through all alone. I didn't enjoy the Interstates or Tollways through Chicago and upper Illinois at all. Not one little bit. I get sorta panicked in their traffic and I would prefer to drive small highways the whole way even if it would take me an extra 5 hours to do so. Has anyone driven small highways from southern Wisconsin to Missouri before? If I can get past St. Louis this way, I have loads of options to get to my destination that are not congested.
I toyed with the idea of Greyhound - but I don't think it would suit me after I read some comments about it here. I've only been on one bus before, and it was a trip half way across the state of Wisconsin - and it was like being a sardine trapped with unhappy travellers.
Thanks for any ideas and thoughts. I'm a small woman and I'm more suited to the quiet and the country than hustle bustle and city if that helps in making your suggestions.