“Relaxing.” That’s how Mark Pfeifer, Jefferson Lines most frequent passenger and loyal customer, describes his trips. As one can tell based on his PhD in Geography, Mark has an active interest in traveling and exploring different places. Mark lives in downtown St. Paul, MN and is the Director of Programs and Development at the Hmong Cultural Center.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Mark at the beautifully renovated Union Depot, our St. Paul stop. He walked over to meet us to talk about his travels with Jefferson Lines. Mark may not own a car but he definitely has a love for the open road. In fact, Mark traveled more than 2,500 miles in 2014 with Jefferson Lines!
His favorite route is Kansas City, MO to Sioux Falls, SD. Passengers travel along the border of Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri, with stops in towns along the Missouri River including St. Joseph, MO, a city of almost 80,000. Mark likes St. Joseph for its historic downtown architecture and many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Not only is St. Joseph a great stop for architecture buffs, it is also the home of the Pony Express, a mail service company that delivered packages from coast to coast. In 1860, it took 10 days for messages to cross the entire country.
Besides his interest in history, Mark likes the adventure in taking the bus. When he gets to his destination, he often explores the local city using public transportation or walking. If need be, he’ll hop in a cab. Mark has even moved cities by bus! He moved to Corpus Christi in 2006 and then back to St. Paul in 2011. Both times he shipped his furniture and belongings ahead of him and then traveled light – all the way through America’s Heartland, passing through Kansas City, Tulsa, Dallas, and then Corpus Christi. Mark’s brother lives in New York City, and he’s even taken the bus (part Jefferson Lines, part Greyhound) to visit him in the Big Apple.
When he travels he likes to dine on regional or local specialties. His favorites include: Mom’s Diner in Fargo (Cheese Frenchees), Smitty’s Tenderloin’s in Des Moines (pork tenderloin sandwiches), and Arthur Bryant’s and Gates BBQ in Kansas City. Top museums he recommends are Nelson Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City and Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.
Mark has also visited one of Jefferson Lines former destinations and a place that we’d like to serve again in the future. Can you guess the name of this Canadian city, known for its Folk Festival and some cold winters? If you guessed Winnipeg, you’re right. Mark used to travel to Winnipeg twice a year.
Mark has some travel tips for other passengers to get the most out of their journey on Jefferson Lines.
- Get there early, especially during the holidays when buses can fill up.
- Travel with a portable reading light so you can illuminate just the right spot in the middle of the night.
- Bring something to drink, like a bottle of water, and some items to snack on in case of bus delays or long waits between break stops.
- Noise canceling headphones are really useful to ensure a pleasant experience.
- Bring lots of reading material, either the old fashioned kind or on your electronic device.
We are thankful for the opportunity to meet Mark and learn about all his travel adventures. We look forward to having you on our bus again soon!