Upon reaching his home, Ben immediately continued his packing spree. Into the washer and dryer went three loads of laundry. The dishwasher was immediately put to use as well. Boxes were opened, and his few minor possessions went into their allotted places. As the night went on and hour turned into hour, he realized that he had WAY more than he thought, and that there weren't enough allotted locations for his stuff...so he went to bed. By this time though, the bed had been broken down and packed up, so he had to pass a not quite comfortable night sleeping on the carpet in the living room, wrapped up in a sleeping bag like a giant chimichanga. After a few short hours of respite, he was back at it. This time with even more fervor as some of his friends were coming over to help him load his wagon with the packed essence of his life in Dallas. The appointed hour of their help arrived, and he was mostly packed. After welcoming everyone, they all settled down with a will and soon the wagon was loaded. Looking at the finished packing process, Ben realized that he could have saved much money by going for the next size down of wagon; but that was too late, that money was water under the bridge, and time and tide wait for no man so he set off on his way.
The first leg of his journey was a nice short stint of boredom as we wandered up to Tulsa. Many memories of that town ran through his mind as the miles passed beneath him. He was looking forward to fellowship, friendship, and food shared among those he called his family. His plan was to spend a couple of nights catching up on the lives of those dear to him. Upon arriving, he set up many meetings and plans, and then partook of a wonderful repast of lasagna and caesar salad. By the time he left that oasis of friendship, he had almost forgotten why his path led farther north to the inhospitable wastes of the artic, and his heart was heavy at the thought that it might be many months if not years till he was able to cross through again.
As if it was a mirror reflecting his heart and soul, the weather was cold, dreary, and rainy. The only thing that made the trip bearable was the knowledge that he would be sleeping with family that night.
But Fate had another plan for him.
The miserly owner of the hostlery from whence the wagon was procured had saved much money by not properly maintaining his fleet. When Ben had reached the halfway point of his journey the wagon started to lurch, to stutter, and then to die. What made this even worse was the location where it finally came to rest. It was a barren place. No friendly abodes for miles, and the exact location it stopped was in the middle of a junction of two major traffic arteries. If Ben was not able to get the wagon out of the way soon, he would be run over...or through.