The pro's and cons

Earlier this morning I got to thinking about flights for when we go. As 2 of us (the adults) both really don't like flying, I got to thinking if it might be easier to fly direct into Denver, then drive to Jackson Hole for the beginning and again at the end drive from Rapid City back to Denver. This would mean less time in airports, less time in the air with better arrival times to places - getting to Jackson at 9.30pm is late and if we get delayed or held up somewhere it will be even later. It's also not just a case of getting off the plane and heading to the hotel. Even landing on time could mean we don't get to our hotel until 11pm which will be 7am UK time meaning we'll all have been awake for over 24 hours, will be tired, grumpy and not at our best. I know I've allowed for a lazy day the first day we are actually stateside but even then I think our driver will be tired, grumpy and irritable (I know what he's like when he's tired and I really don't want to be starting our trip with an unhappy person - that would not be a good thing. Of course the downside to better flights is it will add on an extra 2 days (meaning more time off work) and potentially another motel (a small price to pay really in the grand scheme of things). Obviously doing Denver would mean a long drive on our first day but we'd have had an early night, a good nights sleep and although over 500 miles neither of us are averse to driving that kind of distance. If we set off a 10 we could be in Jackson by 6 - imagine all we would get to see on the way too. Coming back the flight home from Denver is 7.30pm so potentially if we wished we could stop off halfway somewhere overnight then drive the rest of the way the following morning arriving at the airport for 4pm. Alternatively we could alter the route and do it in reverse order which would give us the chance to stop off at Fort Laramie (I'd love to go back there) on the way, then we hotfoot it back from Jackson Hole and have a day in Denver before flying out that evening. I think I'd like to stick to the original route going from Jackson to Rapid City in which case we could do a stop overnight at Laramie (so I still get to visit) and then we can take an amble to the airport the next day (ooh, I'm liking that option). Not over-keen on having to add on 2 extra days but loving the idea of seeing, doing and experiencing more. That can never be a bad thing :) It also means just 1 flight each way, no worries about being delayed and missing a connection (I know so many people that has happened to) and it will be cheaper for car hire as we will be picking the car up and dropping it off in the same place. Hmmm. I may have to have a re-think :) It would also mean we could upgrade to first class (the other flights we could have done so for the main part but not for the internal flights). I had a look at how much first class would cost and if I can raise £20k (which I think is easily doable) then I could treat us all to a first class experience - the kids will probably never get the chance to fly that way again (neither will I :) ) I could swap the last 2 days of the trip so that rather than heading to Rapid City for a night we go direct to Laramie after we're done so we then have a whole day to explore. It is after all the first place I saw the Rattlesnake warning signs too so would be a wee trip down memory lane.  Hmm. So many options :) That I think if I work it right would cut out a night meaning we only have to add 1 extra day instead of 2. So many options. Just when I thought I had it all worked out :) That's got my little brain cell all in a tizz. :) That would work; we turn Day 17 into a trip from Kyle to Laramie and visit the fort, then Day 18 is from Laramie to the airport (about a 5 hour drive so easy for us to pootle) thus adding just one extra day at the beginning of the trip - besides we don't really need to visit Wall. Goodness, I've just given you all in an insight into how my brain takes itself off on little random trips :)  It's also not what I planned on jabbering away to you about today either. 

Now I've got that sorted I guess I should leave this for today and go source some cheap motels in the areas we'll want and work out a revised route to coincide with the changes. In fact I may even re-arrange another day as part of me is wondering if I really do need to visit Wounded Knee - never thought I would hear myself say that as I've wanted to go there since before I was born, but now I'm wondering if it might turn out to be a disappointment to me. That sounds awful doesn't it? The site where so many people were slaughtered being a disappointment - I do not mean it in that way at all. I just think sometimes some things are best left in your imagination.  It's like meeting your favourite movie star and finding out he/she is a complete arse. The image you have of them is then totally destroyed; you can't ever get that moment back. What if I was to get to Wounded Knee and it not be what I expect it to be? Maybe it's one of those places that should be left alone. Also by cutting out WK I could keep the trip the original 18 days, not that the time away is really a big issue but extra days mean extra money and I don't want to ask people for more than is necessary. Greed is not a nice word to be associated with.

*Post Note* after much research I think 520 miles is a lot to do in one day with 2 younglings so will probably try to fly from Denver to Jackson Hole instead; adds to the costs but keeps traveling time to a minimum. We don't want to be too tired out to enjoy ourselves.