If there’s one thing that’s for certain on a road-trip:

Everyone has got to get comfortable.

It helps that piling into a car for hours at a time is inevitable. With four in one car, three in another, the jam-packed vehicles (one towing four canoes) head from Amy Flexman’s house in Revelstoke, BC en route to Telegraph Creek, in Northern British Columbia, where we are to enter the Stikine River.

Along the way, we make an extremely fitting first group stop: The Athabasca Glacier of the Columbia Icefield along Highway 93 in Alberta.

Walking up the hill towards the glacier, we see signs along the path. They tell us how the glacier, over recent years, has melted significantly.

At the top, we take a group photo. We all comment on how the cool air is a nice change from the car, which is turning out to be more of sweat lodge than cruisy drive.

Piling back into our vehicles, we head to Jasper to pick up Kaoli. At this point, Barry’s the only one in the group who has met her. Kaoli is from Japan, which is where these two dear friends united.

Yet, despite their undeniable closeness, once getting to the city, we spot a slight gap in communication. In not being able to reach Kaoli, Barry questions if he perhaps told his friend to be ready on the wrong date…

Which ends up being precisely the case!

Having planned to carry on our journey from Jasper that evening, the group gets reallllllllll Flexy. Giving Kaoli time to get herself packed, we spontaneously find ourselves at Beauvert Lake to go for a chili night dip!

We pause, take a moment, and enjoy.

Then, reevaluating plans, we get the warmest of gestures from our new friend. Before we even meet, Kaoli suggests via text that our ENTIRE team spend the night at her house. Within minutes of getting the invite, we find ourselves pilling into her home as we set up camp for the night. (I should probably mention she even has roommates.)

While Kaoli has never done anything like this excursion before, and is from an entirely different country, something tells me she will do absolutely just fine…

Like a true adventure trekker, going completely with the flow even when feeling frozen, she provided the hot tub to the icebreaker and did back arches as the host.

It’s a story, of a story, of a story…

Here’s to letting it all melt.