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Getting around in the Midwest

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I am a bit of a rara avis in the US: I don't drive. This has prevented me from taking some of the US based trips that I would like, and I'm wondering if anyone has any options that I hadn't known of.

Where I'd like to go: Rome City, Indiana, for the Gene Stratton Porter/Limberlost site; Mankato, Minnesota, for the Maud Hart Lovelace sites (Betsy-Tacy books) and Chicago, which of course will be easy.

I'll be flying out of Philadelphia, and figured I'd fly into Minneapolis, get to Mankato...how? and then take a train from Minneapolis to Chicago, stay a bit, and then go Chicago to...where? for Rome City...,again, how?

Even day tours would work, although I prefer to travel independently. My budget is not unlimited (quite the reverse) but I thought that there might be a possibility of hiring a driver for a day from somewhere to get to Rome City?

Thanks for any help you can give; I've traveled independently through India, for instance, but this has me a bit stumped.

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