A romantic comedy (with a touch of fantasy and myth) about the hopes, struggles, and adventures of Corky, Tad, and Jinx, on a day-an-a-half trip from San Francisco to San Diego. Tad, a serious, practical "desert rat," anxiously eager to get to his sister's wedding on time, is traveling with his cousin and friend, Corky Saylors, a mischievous, slightly zany "beach bum" and talented photographer. The trip is complicated when they encounter Jinx, a charmingly flirtatious young woman, who is eagerly seeking her father, a rodeo man, to write his story for a movie. She convinces them to visit Carnival people, Jinx's relatives at the Swan Café who give her a Treasure Box - not to be opened - and her mother, an actress, where she hears her father is in the California desert. Squabbles over more side trips to the journey, fears from a hitchhiker, a rescue from an old prospector, who was the friend of her father's, temptations over opening a Treasure Box given to Jinx, and romance between Jinx and the two young men cause delays, adventures...and fun.