On this flight, you could and should ask for flight following. When you call to ask, remember to tell the controllers who you are (what aircraft type), where you are (they know their area, so you can reference any nearby VOR or decent-size airport), the altitude (which they use to confirm your Mode-C) and what your intentions are (where you’re going and what basic route). After you make first contact with your desired facility, fill them in on what you want: “Albuquerque Center, Cessna N12345, over Junction, 8,500 feet, destination ABQ, request flight following.” The controller will get back to you, confirm radar contact and give you a squawk code. Remember at this point that you are not, as is the case when you are flying on an IFR flight plan, under the controller’s control. He or she is merely issuing you advisories. You’re under no obligation in most cases to maintain your present altitude or track. Controllers are merely watching you on the radar screen. One thing they will do, however, is issue traffic advisories, workload permitting, which is a nice bonus.