Beany and the Reckoning Road by Lenora Mattingly Weber (1952)
Beany Malone's father used to say that a trip was wasted unless you came back a different and bigger person. For 16-year-old Beany, who kept getting postcards from vacationing friends, it seemed as though any trip would mean excitement and fun.
Beany's big chance comes when she is asked to drive her little nephew back to his parents in San Diego. She and her brother Johnny set out in the old family Dodge and it isn't very long before complications develop. Among them:
Miss Opal, an eccentric old maid,
A horse named Quaker,
A ripe tomato plant.
One lazy adventure follows another and the "two-day trip" keeps getting longer and longer. At the end of the journey, Beany gets the surprise of her life--and has good reason to remember what her father said before she started out.
For more delightful adventures with the happy-go-lucky, heart-warming Malones, read LEAVE IT TO BEANY and MEET THE MALONES. (from the back cover)