After a long vacation, Brenda and Paul Hoyer were ready to fly back home to Spokane on Friday night.
"You know, you're tired anyway and you just want to get home," Brenda said.
The couple had spent some time off in Mexico and were waiting to board their 10 p.m. flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
However, severe weather conditions delayed and cancelled scheduled flights from Seattle.
"It just kept changing and cancelling. I may have had a little crying fit in the airport," Brenda said.
Also waiting to board the same flight to Spokane was Desiree Greenfield, who was standing right by Brenda during the ordeal.
"Brenda was quite upset," Greenfield laughed.
However, Greenfield found Brenda's anger to be calm - call it a unique form of empathy.
"I was kind of worked up, and when I'm worked up, I like to listen to other people that are worked up about something. It's therapeutic," Greenfield said.
This unique form of empathy and therapy soon turned into a group session, when Kevin Folsom and his family overheard.
"It was in the same area where we were in the airport and we all vented together," Folsom said.
Soon, Folsom's son, Austin, suggested they rent a car and start driving back. Paul also suggested the idea later on, but Kevin Folsom was willing to wait out the delays for a future flight.
"I didn't feel like driving: it's snowing, it's blowing. Let's just sleep here, we'll wait it out and see what happens," Folsom said.
Hour after hour, delay after delay, then Folsom had a change of heart.
"Then, I changed my mind. It was daylight and I felt rested," he said.
Folsom's family and the Hoyer's turned to Greenfield, who was traveling alone. Greenfield admitted she "wouldn't recommend other young girls to do what I did," but said she could feel the genuine love from both the family and couple.
So, she trusted them.
"They love each other, they care about each other... If it had been a bunch of business professionals, eh, I don't know," Greenfield said.
So, the three group of strangers got into one rental car... and started driving to Spokane. They drove through the Snoqualmie Pass with no troubles, giving them an initial spark of optimism.
"Had no problems with the pass. We were so excited," Brenda said.
"We made it over the pass and once we made it, we thought we were home free," Kevin said.
Little did they know, their journey together was just beginning: I-90 was blocked off beyond Ellensburg. Dangerous winds and snow made driving conditions impossible.
"We took every (alternative route) that we thought we could to get around I-90 to no avail," Kevin said.
Route after route... closed. They kept trying, until they were on the road for more than twelve hours. The group's luggage was still on an airplane in Seattle, still waiting for the weather to calm.
The group made an impromptu decision to get dinner, book a couple hotel rooms, and call it a night on Saturday.
"We were dished some lemons and we made lemonade out of it," Kevin said.
The group made it back to Spokane International Airport by Sunday afternoon, where they gathered their belongs and said their goodbyes. However, all three parties (the family, the couple, and solo traveler) said they're planning to keep in touch... and much more.
"Friends for life. We already have dinner plans here coming up in March," Wendy Folsom said.
"It's really cool how these people we randomly met, we have so much in common with," Brenda Hoyer said.
"A little unconventional, but we made friends - friends who will be friends for life," Kevin Folsom said.