The downside (or one of the drawbacks) of having booked flights in advance is that fresh information changes things. My cousin Gordon, whom I shall be visiting in Halifax Nova Scotia, has kindly offered to drive me to Boston along a coastal route, stopping off 3 nights on the way. Together with other considerations, this means that I would not get to Seattle in time for the flight I had booked to San Francisco, so instead I shall take the more scenic Californian Zephyr from Chicago and overnight in Denver, the mile-high city.
I have made contact with two other friends I shall visit on the journey: Bjarni in Iceland and Hanna in Cambodia. And I have possible contacts in Chicago and Delhi. The journey is looking less lonely.