OKLAHOMA: Arrive in the late evening and forgive the clerk for not checking you in for another weary hour. He and Tiny Tim were dining on a goose in room 107, and they couldn’t hear the bell. Drop off your luggage and shower. Hop into the car to grab a snack and check out the sites. You’re going to be tired and won’t want to get back in the car, but luckily you will be paid in full.
This will be one of the most profound moments of your journey. In the dead of the evening, tour the OK City national memorial. On Christmas night, it will be completely empty, silent, and endless. In fact, the whole city will seem that way, eerily peaceful and apocalyptic.
The next day, greet the long day of driving with a breakfast of steak and eggs right in the stockyards. Drive until you hit the continental divide and stop at the first authentic trading post you see. Pick up the moccasins. They will be your favorite souvenir.
NEW MEXICO: Here you will begin to see the landscape dramatically change. The snow will recede if you’re lucky and it will only get warmer from here on out, so drop your big sweater, avoid the cracker barrel (too much pork and not enough non-pork), and drive! Make a life plan to buy property in the canyons and build a ranch. Continue on. If you leave in the late morning, you can hit the petrified forest just as its closing for sunset. Stretch your legs and lament at the closing, and get back on the road.
The road to Phoenix will be as curvy as Marilyn Monroe and it will be night, so say your prayers and grip the steering wheel until your knuckles turn white.
ARIZONA: Just before getting to your rest destination stop at the casino on the outskirts and play the wheel to decide if its steak or hamburgers for dinner. Find out the special is $7 for ribeye with all the fixins’, and decide win, lose, its steak tonight. For your final layover on the way to California, plan to stay two nights in Phoenix so you can rest and see the sights. Stay at a cheap hotel with all the amenities, including a little living area/kitchen and free coffee, breakfast, and WIFI. Wonder at how you spent half of what you spent one night at the boutique hotel for two nights with everything. Visit a cheesy amusement park as soon as it opens and ride the giant drop three times or until you become an adrenaline junky. Try to keep your eyes open. Ride a couple coasters and lunch on gooey mall sandwiches kitty corner to the amusement park. Go back and take a long nap, you did a lot, your body thinks you almost died a bunch of times. Let it rest.
CALIFORNIA: Speaking of rest, its time for the final stretch. Drive lazily past Yuma and as the sun is setting visit the spot your husband first proposed with the words, “No one really wants to get married, but do you want to anyway?” Take your final trek home, just in time to have dinner with your new family. Go to sleep, singing that song that has been in your head since you began your journey.