This is a simple "pie" variant that reduces potential inequality of start hands. After making the map and shuffling the deck, one player draws four cards and splits them into two groups of two cards each (faceup). The other player then chooses which group they want as their start hand with the remaining hand going to the splitter. Finish set up as normal and play!
Kenny, are you still playing this game? I didn't think anyone was.
I've been thinking for a while about drawing up a map to print out and use in place of the card arrangement. That way, more than 2 players can play with a single deck, and the routes could be a little more interesting.