First Step: Flight is Booked

Thank you Southwest Airlines.

Last night I booked  my one-way flight from Columbus, OH, to Phoenix, AZ for a week of driving in December. It was cheaper than my pair of running shoes.

The plan is begin the drive in Phoenix and end in Dover, Delaware. 2400 miles; 40 hours. Then drive back to Columbus.

I figure 8 hours of driving each day (I can’t do much more than that alone). I’ll start early (for me, that’s 8 or 9 am) since I don’t like driving at night. Get into the next town and write all night, get up and start again.

My planned route. What could possibly go wrong?

Day 1, I’ll fly from Columbus to Phoenix,and drive on toward Albuquerque.

I will take the I-40 route through Oklahoma City, Memphis,  Asheville, then up to Dover. The last leg will be the drive back to Columbus on Day 7.

I’ve driven this route before – first, when I was 21 and driving from Irvine, CA, to Washington, DC, to live with future husband #1 while he completed his second year in grad school at Georgetown.

A year later, we returned to California along the exact same route. Each time, however, we only had 4 or 5 days to travel the 3,000 miles from coast to coast.

Funny, now, to think we were in such a hurry.

I remember we stopped for a few minutes at the (then-new) memorial in Oklahoma City. We peered over the fence at Graceland. We became expert 5-minute tourists. I wanted more but we were in a hurry. We told ourselves we’d always have time to go back to the cities that we breezed through.

That never works out, though, does it?

That’s one of the themes of the novel I’m writing.

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