Many Americans fled the dust bowl in the 1930s, heading west on Route 66 to California. In this fictional tale, a young girl tells about her journey out of Oklahoma with her parents, baby brother, Teddy-Boy, and little sister, Winona. She talks about riding in the back of the loaded-down truck.
The girls are always thirsty and barely able to breathe from all the dust. They pass through Amarillo and into New Mexico. At a roadside stop, Winona stubbornly refuses to rest in the shade and goes off on her own. Everyone thinks she is with someone else, even as they load up and drive off. Later, a honking truck pulls up behind them. The driver has found Winona and returns her to her parents.
The family drives through Tucumcari and Albuquerque, and Winona gets sick and weary. She sleeps a lot, missing many sights along the way. She wakes up, feeling better, just before they cross the Continental Divide. They get gas, fix a flat and head on. Winona is pleased to learn Arizona has a town bearing her name. They travel through Arizona at night because it’s so hot, breaking down several times on the way and meeting up with other Okies like themselves. The family is joyful upon reaching California.