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Flight cancellations lead Utah couple to take a 13-hour road trip with 3 strangers


Following dozens of flight cancellations across the country, a North Salt Lake couple opted to take a 13-hour-long road trip home for the holidays alongside people they never met.

After visiting family, Spencer and Jana Horn flew from Des Moines, Iowa to Denver, Colorado on Wednesday only to have their flight to Utah canceled. Stranded, the couple quickly tried figuring out what to do next before they were approached by a woman who was on their previous flight.

The woman brought up the idea of renting a car together and after learning that another couple was from Vernal, having also been stranded in Denver while on their way to Toronto, the Horns packed into a minivan alongside three strangers – Joe, Chrissie, and Kay Lyn – all five of them headed back to Utah.

The group left the airport at 2 a.m. on Thursday, but due to snowy weather, the five were unable to drive on I-80. With that option out the window, they drove west from Denver, taking I-70 instead and Horn says that the group made it to Glenwood Springs by 9 in the morning, having stopped at a Village Inn where they ate breakfast together.

After breakfast, the group headed northwest on some backroads and eventually dropped off Chrissie and Joe in Vernal before continuing through Heber City. The group then made it to Salt Lake City International Airport at 3:30 p.m. where they dropped off the rental car and parted ways.

Horn says that, from his perspective, this trip was a small miracle as they were able to be back just in time to go to Luminaria at Thanksgiving point. The couple says that during this journey, they discovered new friends and after spending 13 hours in a car together, driving through a snowstorm, a real bond was formed between these five strangers.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.