Based on my chatting to you all yesterday (or was it Saturday? I can't quite remember) and thinking about how I now want the kids to be part of the trip I've made a couple of small (big) changes to accommodate all of us, well me and the kids; the friend I'm letting come with us doesn't get much of a say - he's made no contribution to any of it so either engages in all we shall be doing or he stays behind in the UK (that sounds really harsh, doesn't it? I don't mean it to and would love for him to come along, especially if the kids decide they don't want to do it (you know how fickle teenagers can be!!!) but I don't see why when I am the one making the effort, organising everything, booking everything, putting myself out there on the world wide web asking strangers for help he should get to choose where we go and what we do (in doing so I am exposing myself to the crazies, stalkers and soooooo very many trolls too). If at any point he is able to raise some of the funds himself or put's his hand in his own pockets to help fund things then I will re-think him having some say but as it stands right now it's really about me and the kids, what works for us and what will keep them entertained whilst allowing me to visit all the places I want to visit.
As a result I have added an extra day to the start (I think a 9 hour drive with them will be asking too much so will be flying from Denver to Jackson hole) and I've removed a day at the end, yet somehow I appear to have lost 2 days somewhere - either that or I just couldn't count when I first organised it all (that's more likely to be what I've done knowing what I'm like). I noticed when I went into the page I have on here with The Route shared that the maps around (and in) Yellowstone had somehow altered from when I first organised them so for now the directions list for those days has been removed (I'll try and see if I can get them back when I have a bit more time). The maps are still there so if you wanted to follow our route and can read a map then you should be good-to-go without the written directions. The great thing about now flying in between is that we will definitely take in some of Idaho on our way but on the way back we will now travel through Nebraska. Just because we will only be in these states for an hour or so as we pass through doesn't matter - they count towards to my dream of visiting all 50 before I die. Plus it will mean the kids can say they've been on a 6 state road trip through the American midwest when they get back home (their friends all come back bragging about having spent a fortnight in Florida at Disneyworld or a week in California (usually LA, occasionally San Francisco but it's rare for others to road trip through several states). They (we) will start in Colorado, travel to Wyoming, pass through Idaho on our way to Yellowstone in Montana, before heading back into Wyoming for a few days, then onto South Dakota for the remainder of the trip, whizzing through Nebraska on our way back to the airport which we see us safely back to the UK (via an overnight stop back in Wyoming).
Having a nose around the internet yesterday I found another site who specialise in travel fund raising so I have now set up a profile on there too - it's slightly better in one way as it makes you list what your expenses are so people can see exactly what you are paying for. Mind you once I'm sorted I've no problem sharing my spreadsheet that has everything listed for all to see. I have nothing to hide from anyone and the more up front I am the more likely people are to donate for they (you) will see I am genuine. If you weren't sure about using the first site I set up a funding profile with (although why you wouldn't be I do not know, then feel free to check out the new one by clicking here. I personally feel more comfortable with the first one but both are genuine companies who are upfront about their costs. The new site also went live immediately so can be found by anyone scrolling through their site whereas the first one is still waiting to reach it's £100 minimum before it can be allowed to go live. The eagle eyed among you will notice the new fund raiser has a limit of 120 days on it to run - you can choose either 1, 4, or 9 months to run a campaign. I chose the 4 just in case I am able to raise all I need by then for that would give me enough chance to get the trip sorted for October of this year. Obviously if I've not raised it all by then I can extend for another 4 (and so on) until I have all needed to get us on our way.