The Hitch
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Join Dan and Janice as they navigate life's challenges on the road. Recorded from the back of a 27' Airstream trailer while their 13-year-old, 3-year-old, and dog sleep in the front, Dan and Janice share the 60 days of life on the road they've embarked on to mark the end of Janice's treatment for breast cancer. Stories of travel, family, hope and survival all from the back of a tin can.

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    Day 49: It’s Not Camping It’s Just Living

    Something’s causing Dan to sneeze and Janice’s eyes to burn and it’s probably the constant campfire smoke that hovers over this campground. Even though many of the trailers at this campsite are the size of a small condo (and have the amenities to match), for many it’s still “camping” and that means a campfire.

    But when you’re living on the road, it’s not so much camping as it is just life.

    And speaking of life, Janice and Dan are trying to slow it down some and, for Janice, that means realizing that relaxing actually takes effort too. But it’s a lesson worth learning.

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    Day 48: Water Conservation

    Join Dan and Janice at the campsite’s dishwashing station, where they’re cleaning up from the day. Why not just do dishes inside the trailer? Because they don’t have a sewer hookup at this site, so they need to try and slow the wastewater from filling their tanks as much as possible.

    Welcome to the episode of The Hitch you’ve been waiting for: how sewage works in a trailer.

    No actually it’s kind of interesting and it made both of them realize just how wasteful they are with water in the day to day.

    Added bonus: they’ve talked about it a number of times, but finally your wait is over: the Poo Cone explained.

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    Day 47: Black Hills Rodeo

    Dan and Janice are back in the Black Hills and there is a rodeo happening right across from where they’ve parked Evangeline! Recorded from outside under the awning (which they’ve figured out a fix for), listen to the sounds of the rodeo and tales from the day!

    And what a day it was! Dan almost broke his face on the hitch, and on their way over from Devils Tower they witnessed a truck lose both its rear wheels. Plus, 10,000 bikers some of which drove like dicks.

    It’s more than eight seconds and they’re not on a bronco, but climb on cowboy, and have a ride on The Hitch.

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    Day 46: Motorcycles Are Everywhere

    Janice and Dan and the family go to hike Devil’s Tower this morning, along with thousands of bikers. Maybe they thought there were a lot of bikes here yesterday, but today is a rally day down here and it means that there are bikes as far as you can see.

    The rumble of motorcycle engines is everywhere and if you thought that you could get gas, or go into a tiny town to buy some food, well, hundreds of your biker friends are doing that too.

    It’s bikes and Devil’s Tower and Janice and Dan and The Hitch. Let’s ride.

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    Day 45: Close Encounters of the Hitch Kind

    The trailer is parked in the shadow of Devil’s Tower National Monument, so of course Janice just got back from watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind with the 13-year-old outside. In fact, this campsite, which is built on the filming location of that movie, shows it every night!

    Aliens aren’t the only thing out there today: It’s the week of the Sturgis motorcycle ralley so the roads (and this campsite) are also filled with bikers.

    It’s the first stop in Dan and Janice’s revised final leg of the trip, and they’re both feeling pretty good about it. Or maybe they’re having visions implanted by aliens.

    This means something. This is important. Climb in for day 45.

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    Day 44: Mad at Montana

    The crew packed up from Yellowstone and drove all the way to… Billings, Montana. OK, it was less than two hours away but that was all they had in them. Plus there were errands to run and a replacement phone to (finally) procure. But it wasn’t exactly fun.

    And that’s part of the lesson: On any trip—in any life—there are low points, and this retreat from Montana, a place that Janice lived and loves, is the low point of this trip.

    And like any low point, it takes a little work to get out of it. But here’s Dan and Janice, doing the work.

    Week Six begins here!

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    Day 43: Road Weary

    The distances in Montana are huge and they’re starting to drag on Dan and Janice. A simple errand can mean a 70 mile round trip and when the major attraction, Yellowstone, is over 40 miles away and then hundreds of miles of roads inside, it starts to add up.

    Case in point: Today they drove down to Old Faithful. The whole drive was breathtaking and the geysers, and hot springs that are fed by the supervolcano below Yellowstone (really) are unreal, but it was about a 300 mile round trip. That’s a lot for a “day off.”

    Janice is feeling as weary as her post-surgery days and Dan is feeling more burned out than when he was working. What are they doing to themselves here? Both of them are in recovery and they’re decidedly NOT recovering. It’s time to make a change.

    Being able to travel well is about being adaptable, so it’s time to adapt.

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    Day 42: Moving Forward, Looking Back

    Dan, Janice, and family take a trip of a more personal nature today: A drive over to the tiny town that Janice lived in.

    Originally planned as a Yellowstone day, a faulty tail light meant a trip in the opposite direction, so they changed up and drove an hour to tiny McCloud, Montana. It’s a town with just a post office, a bar, and a school—and a place Janice lived in the late 90s.

    In a trip all about moving forward, this was a rare opportunity to look back. For Janice, it was a measure of who she is now against who she was then. For Dan, it was an opportunity to connect dots between a past he only knew in stories with the woman he loves now (and he gets a little emotional about it).

    Plus, it was an opportunity for everyone to drive 10 miles down a dirt road to try and find the homestead cabin with no heat and no running water that Janice once lived in, because of course she did.

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    Day 41: Birthday Surprises

    It’s Janice’s Birthday! And while you’d like a day of uninterrupted fun and awesomeness, you’re living on the road so who knows what might happen?

    As it turns out: a few things that were a bummer. First, Janice’s new phone died, which meant an unexpected 60 mile round trip to a phone store. Second, the power line going down last night did something to the water pipes in the campground and there's not any water, so no birthday coffee.

    After the long drive to Bozeman and a fruitless time at the phone store, they tried to make the most of it with a “quick” trip into Yellowstone. Though traveler, beware: there is no quick trip into Yellowstone, the place is enormous.

    Also, another huge storm blows through again, this time while driving through the top loop of Yellowstone. Janice, thankfully pulled over just before the sheer wall of water and wind hit but things weren’t so great for a guy in a car not far ahead whose car got hit by a falling tree.

    Between the live wire last night and the tree today, Janice is reminded: don’t take things for granted. It’s a good lesson to remember on your birthday

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    Day 40 Part Two: A Real Live Wire

    OK, so it turns out that power outage wasn’t actually nothing and there’s a live wire buzzing and hissing about 30 yards away.

    No, really.

    Also, in addition to the power being out the water is too.

    Shit just got a little too real.

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