The Hitch
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Join Dan and Janice as they talk travel, dream big, and set out on a new adventure in their 27' Airstream trailer, Evangeline. Out for 64 days on the road this summer with their 13-year-old, 3-year-old, and dog, they're exploring the American Southwest while navigating through life's challenges along the way. Listen weekly and come along for the ride!

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    Day 63: Rain Delay.

    Week Nine wraps up with a change of plans.

    Waking up to a huge rain storm this morning and looking at the weather radar, Dan and Janice realized that the next two days would be spent driving entirely through rain. Which sucks, and would have ruined the last few days of the trip.

    So, sometimes you've got to change plans.

    Shifting everything back by a day will mean mostly dry drive days, though the arrival back at home will be a little hectic since there are things on the other end that can't move.

    But, it's the right decision and with the kids playing Mario Bros in the background Dan and Janice discuss the change of plans.

    Week Nine concludes with a pause--to be continued in week 10!

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    Day 62: Just because you've passed through a place doesn't mean you know it.

    Week Nine takes a detour into Lincoln Nebraska, the latest stop on the road home. Instead of just pulling into the campsite and holing up, everyone follows the 14-year-old's lead and venture into Lincoln.

    This is a town that Dan and Janice have passed through for nearly 20 years and other than a couple short random stops have never really explored and it turns out, it's pretty charming!

    Plus, this extended run of drive days has Dan thinking about what's possible if you crank out 1000 miles in one shot like this.

    Week Nine and the Road Home continue!

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    Day 61: Stretched out on the Tarmac Six Miles South of North Platte.

    The Road Home begins, and the first stop lands Evangeline at a campground off I-80 in North Platte, Nebraska.

    It's nothing special but it's better than running out of gas which almost happened before they got there.

    Dan has a song stuck in his head, Janice is suffering in the humidity, the trees are big, and the open road beckons as Nebraska and Week Nine stretch out.

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    Day 60: Turning Back into a Pumpkin.

    This is it: the last day in Lyons Colorado and the last day before the drive home begins.

    It's a melancholy day, where everyone made the most of it but nobody wants this next stage to happen.

    Life on the road has been great, and with the extended stays in places like Lyons, Santa Fe, and Austin, they've been able to establish patterns and routines that make leaving all the harder.

    But leaving has to happen, so it's time to say goodbye to this beautiful town nestled in the mountains as Week Nine continues.

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    Day 59: Denver Day.

    After a slow couple days, Janice and the kid set out to have a blowout day in Denver and wow did it deliver, while Dan just stayed in the trailer and worked.

    He missed out though, with a whirlwind day through the mile high city including vising an enormous game store, eating tacos, going to the History Colorado Center, and grabbing ice cream.

    As week nine moves along and the days get shorter, make the most of it along with Janice and the kids in Denver!

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    Day 58: Interview with the 14-Year-Old.

    Janice is out with a friend tonight, so Dan sits down with the 14-year-old to get his perspective of life on the road.

    What's it like to be a teen sleeping on a table in a tiny space with your parents and little brother? What parts of the trip have really stood out? What does he like about living on the road? All your questions answered today!

    Week nine continues, and a new perspective is added!

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    Day 57: Scratching Things Off the List.

    Week Nine starts with a whimper. After three days of non-stop birthdaying, everyone is tired and fried. But beyond that, this is the start of the end--the last full week on the road, and the last few days in Lyons Colorado.

    It's had to have had all this time and suddenly to have so little, as things have to come off the list instead of being added to it.

    Plus, when you're tired you feel like you're losing the little time you've had. But it's not over yet and so join Janice and Dan outside of Evangeline for one last week of adventures.

    Week Nine starts here, but sure doesn't end here.

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    Day 56: Washing a Horse.

    Week Eight wraps ups with something unexpected: a horse bath.

    The title really tells the story here. Today the whole family got invited to give a horse a bath. You know, as happens.

    Well, Janice and Dan and the 4-year-old only watched, but the 14-year-old got fully immersed in the horse bathing extravaganza.

    Grab a carrot and feed a horse as Week Eight comes to a close.

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    Day 55: Non-Stop Saturday.

    Everyone was at the park today, a beautiful sunny Saturday in the mountains. Huge families grilling, so many tubers that there were lines to get on the river. The whole park was a party and it reminded Janice and Dan of how the Chicago lakefront gets when it's perfect out.

    Then they hosted something of an impromptu party of their own, as they were joined by Janice's sister and niece, her boyfriend and his uncle and they all took a ride on the river.

    But Saturday didn't slow down even after they left, as the whole family walked over to a vintage pinball arcade in town and had a blast dropping quarters into machines.

    Join in on a non-stop Saturday in Lyons!

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    Day 54: It's Janice's Birthday!

    Join in the celebration because it's Janice's birthday! Dan, the 14-year-old, and the birthday girl herself join in recounting the day's festivities.

    There was a lot, from an early-morning awning decoration to running a 5k to going on a hike and playing mini-golf. It was a day filled with fun.

    It was also a day for reflection, of how far Janice has come since her cancer surgeries and treatments last year. She may be a year older, but she's got so much more energy and endurance now--which is worth celebrating as well!

    Blow out some candles and enjoy Janice's great day as Week Eight continues!

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    Day 53: Ned.

    Today Janice and the kids drove the peak-to-peak highway--which traverses the Rockies--to the small mountain town of Nederland, Colorado. Ned, for short.

    A former mining town that got taken over by hippies in the 60s, Ned is now a town that's unlike any other.

    Like, there's a frozen dead guy in a Tuff Shed on the main street in town. No, really. Janice tells the tale of "grandpa" a cryogenically frozen man who is now a town symbol.

    After you visit "Grandpa," take a ride on the Carosel of Happiness, a hand-carved wooden carosel in town. A labor of love that took a few decades to complete, the Carosel is truly a joyous place.

    Come up to Ned with Janice and experience a little of what makes it so amazing.

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    Day 52: River Rats.

    Week Eight continues as Dan and Janice really settle into life next the adorable town of Lyons and to the rush of the river alongside Evangeline.

    Today they never left town and yet the day was as full as could be.

    Less full was the tube that the 14-year-old attempted to navigate down the river. A rubber innertube that has seen better days, the lopsided tube--bulbous on one side, thin on the other, created a bigger challenge than the rapids in the river.

    The 14-year-old managed to hang on, which is more than can be said for the kid that Janice had to help fish out of the river earlier in the day. Some riverside drama, just for you.

    Grab a tube and join us as Week Eight floats on!

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    Day 51: Riverside.

    Week eight continues as Janice and Dan record riverside. While this campsite is one they stayed at last year, the river is entirely different. What a year ago was a fairly low river that could beach people attempting to ride their tubes down it is now a raging river, offering real thrills to tubers.

    And the tubers have come! A steady stream of them making this already-vibrant campsite feel even more alive. And that vibrancy sets Dan and Janice off on a discussion of what makes a great campsite great.

    Listen to the river and to tales of great campsites in this riverside edition of The Hitch!

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    Day 50: Moving on to Lyons.

    Week Eight opens with a move day. This one was not an especially hard one, having to drive a total of 36 minutes from one campsite to the next. But what a difference those 36 minutes made!

    Instead of the hot shadeless site they'd been in for just about a week, Dan and Janice parked Evangeline in the picturesque foothills of the Rocky Mountains, right alongside a raging river.

    Oh, and that "parking"? It was a back-in site and Janice nailed it like a champ.

    Welcome to week eight, the most beautiful place we've parked in all trip. Join us!

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    Day 49: Out With a Whimper.

    Listener, Week Seven wasn't supposed to end like this--with Dan and Janice completely exhausted in Evangeline's back bedroom--but that's what traveling with kids will do sometimes.

    An over-tired four-year-old took three hours to get to bed and completely shredded the last bits of energy that everyone was clinging to.

    A 27' trailer can feel really big, except when everyone is hiding out from a toddler that wont' sleep.

    Week Seven comes to a close with yawns. Come, curl up with us.

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    Day 48: Live from Water World.

    It's summer in Colorado and that can mean only one thing: the yearly pilgrammage to Water World, an enormous water park just north of Denver.

    For astute listeners of The Hitch, you'll remember Water World as the place that Dan bruised a rib by crowding too many people into a dinosaur-themed tube ride.

    Well, no injuries this year, though plenty of moments where you feel like you'll be injured--because the odd feeling that things may go horribly wrong is part of Water World's charm.

    Join Janice and Dan poolside for this special live update from Water World. You won't get wet, but you will have fun.

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    Day 47: Striking Gold at the Antique Mall.

    For the couple decades that they've been on the road together, stopping at antique malls has always been a thing for Janice and Dan. They offer a unique look into the place you're in, plus generous AC or heat depending on the season, and occasionally you'll find something cool.

    Today the latter was definitely true, as everyone walked out of there with something. In fact, one of the things was so big that it's filling half the trunk now. But it's worth it, as it fulfills a long-time dream of Janice's.

    Come look for rusty gold with us as Week Seven continues!

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    Day 46: Eagleton.

    While exploring the new campsite, Janice makes a discovery: the other half of the campground is vastly differnet than the side Evangeline is parked in: the roads are paved, there are big beautiful clean bathrooms, and there is shade--perhaps the biggest luxury of all.

    For those that have watched Parks & Recreation, the other side of the campground is the Eagleton to our sides Pawnee: vastly superior and knows it.

    Come back to the dirt roads and highway noise of Pawnee and hear a tale of two campgrounds.

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    Day 45: Like Driving Next to a Rave.

    It's a move day and Dan's jerry-rigged drivers side mirrors is... only sort of up to the task.

    The mirror "replacement" was really three mirrors: a tow arm extension mirror, a little convex dot mirror, and a thin sheet of reflective plastic that was basically the worst thing ever.

    The strobing funhouse mirror situation didn't help the fact that the Denver roads they traversed were torn up in the worst possible way and the combination of the two things threw both Janice and Dan back a year to when every tow day was a stress day too.

    Strap on your rave mirrors and get into the trailer as Week Seven rolls on.

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    Day 44: The Case of the Missing Mirror.

    Week Seven hits a low point as Dan discovers that the drivers side mirror is missing after a night out with a friend.

    Wait, missing?

    Yes, missing. Just, gone. Removed, with all the electronics below intact.

    It's not a mirror you want to lose at any time, but with a tow day looming and a direct replacement not immediately available. It was time to get creative.

    Get on the case gumshoe, Week Seven continue with a stumper.

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    Day 43: All Go, Now Slow.

    Week Seven kicks off with Janice, Dan, and the family's first full day in the Denver area. While much of this week is devoted to Janice's family, they spent the day today exploring the campsite they were in.

    Some state park campgrounds are fairly basic, but this one is packed with activities: Gigantic dog park? Check. Swim area on the lake? Check. A place to waterski? Sure. Stand up Paddleboard? Yep? Horses? Yes. Hot Air Balloon launching? You got it.

    What started as a chill day at the campground ended up being filled with exploring this somewhat miraculous space.

    Week Seven starts here--get on the trail.

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    Day 42: Culture Shock.

    Week 6 wraps up with a bit of culture shock.

    After weeks spent away from the bustle of a large city, driving into the Denver Area today felt like driving into the land of plenty. Did you know you can not drive 30 miles to a grocery store? Or that cell phones just work? Or that there is literally any kind of food you might want just a short distance away?

    It's been a long time since Janice, Dan, and the crew left Austin, Texas, the last bigger city they visited and since then they've gotten used to the challenges of living away from it all.

    And suddenly now, they're plunging straight into IT ALL. It's a relief, but also it's a transition.

    Week 6 ends here, but the adventure continues next week. Talk to you then!

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    Day 41: Sand and UFOs.

    The penultimate episode of Week 6 is really two adventures in one!

    First, join Janice, Dan, and family as they climb the Great Sand Dunes--and then sled down. It was a morning full of fun on the sand (and also sometimes almost collapsing from the effort to climb back up the steep dunes), the scale of which is almost impossible to describe.

    Speaking of things that are impossible to describe, then join everyone as they go to the UFO Watchtower, a truly bizarre roadside attraction that features no tower (just a raised platform) but instead a very large garden of... trash. Look, it's a lot.

    Hey, here's something to ponder: as soon as they discuss the UFO Watchtower, some subtle static creeps into the episode. Alien interference? Who can really say.

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    Day 40: Overlooking the Great Sand Dunes.

    After leaving Santa Fe, week six rolls into Colorado with a stop at The Oasis RV park just outside the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

    A slightly rickety but well loved store, campground, and motel, The Oasis boasts one of the greatest views around: it directly overlooks the Great Sand Dunes, an enormous set of dunes surrounded by three mountain ranges. It's a beautiful place with stunning sunsets and it's Evangeline's home for the next two nights.

    Sit outside with Janice and Dan and hear about the Dunes and stories of UFOs in the valley outside them. Wait what?

    It's a new location as Week 6 rolls on.

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    Day 39: Live from Meow Wolf.

    Recorded live from a secluded corner of Meow Wolf, this episode features the whole family talking about this extraordinary art experience in Santa Fe. In fact, this is their second visiting Meow Wolf this trip, and they decided to bring a mic along.

    But it's something of a bittersweet visit because it's the last day in Santa Fe. The longest stop of the trip has resulted in a town that everyone is in love with and nobody wants to leave.

    But there's things to explore in Meow Wolf, so let's not dwell on the sadness of leaving but instead on the deep lore and surreal beauty of this unique place.

    Slide through the dryer and join us!

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    Day 38: The Man-Kerchief.

    Another day in Santa Fe brings Janice and the kids back to an antique mall. This time they're not just browsing, they're buying a Man-Kerchief display.

    What's a Man-Kerchief you ask? Well, it's a tissue for men that comes in a beautiful vintage display case.

    Oddly gendered tissues aside, this is a day spent very much like Janice and Dan would spend it at home. In fact, it feels like home here now.

    Six weeks in and it all feels like home. Come on in.

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    Day 37: 14-year-old tour guide.

    Week 6 continues with a settling into life in Santa Fe. Dan went off to work at a coworking space with actual working internet, while Janice tried to figure out what to do with the kids for the day.

    And then the 14-year-old stepped up and planned the whole day!

    A day spent hiking, shopping, and eating in Santa Fe, all courtesy of the 14-year-old tour guide.

    Week 6 continues in Santa Fe, come along.

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    Day 36: Hints of Past Civilizations.

    Week six begins with a road trip in search of the past.

    First, Janice and Dan attempt to drive the pre-1937 path of Route 66 which lead from Santa Fe to Albuqurque. Much of the road doesn't exist anymore, and finding the bits and pieces of motels and roadside signs that tell a story of what was once there is challenging.

    Much less challenging was finding signs of even more ancient civilizations at the Petroglyphs National Monument, where even when you've got only a few minutes before they literally lock you in, you can see drawings and patterns that are thousands of years old.

    Plus: going to get the best bowl of green chili in New Mexico at Duran's Pharmacy.

    Week six starts with an adventure, get on board here!

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    Day 35: A Bump on the Head.

    Sometimes even the best days go south on you. After an incredible day at the International Folk Art Market, Janice and Dan went to record this episode of the hitch on a picturesque bench swing at the campground.

    Only to have it collapse on them the moment they sat down.

    Bruised and a little battered, with a rain storm in the background, they retell this misadventure as well as think about what it means to get hurt on the road when you don't have your normal safety net to fall back on.

    It's a bumpy ending to a great week as Week 5 comes to a close.

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    Day 34: Campfire Stories.

    It took 34 days, but today Janice and Dan and the whole family did something that most people do on day one of camping: they had a campfire.

    Living on the road is very different than camping, and the rituals around camping are perhaps some of the biggest differences. But today they partook and did some cooking right on the fire.

    Join Janice and Dan for a meal of fire-baked potatoes and cake baked inside oranges directly on the coals. It's a rare episode about camping things!

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    Day 33: Opening the Refrigerator at Meow Wolf.

    Janice and Dan are joined outside the trailer by the 14-year-old to talk about today's surreal adventure at Meow Wolf!

    Part art installation, part interactive story, part surreal playground, part mind-blowing experience, Meow Wolf has fast become one of the biggest destinations in Santa Fe--and for good reason. The story of a family whose home contains a refrigerator that's a portal to other dimensions overlays an experience that's unlike almost anything they've experienced before.

    How do you talk about something so visually overwhelming with no visuals? How do you explain an experience that you just want to take others on? The challenge of talking about Meow Wolf is the challenge of talking about road trips generally. It's hard, but worth it.

    Open the fridge and climb in as week 5 takes on new dimensions.

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    Day 32: No Time and All the Time.

    It's a day Janice and Dan have been dreading for a while now: the halfway point of the trip. It feels like it's taken no time at all to get here while also feeling like it's taken all the time. But that's life on the road: things stretch and compress in ways that are hard to describe.

    Day 32 isn't all melancholy thoughts about the passage of time though, everyone dove deep into the rich culture of Santa Fe today with a trip to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum, the New Mexico History Museum, and a stop at the Five and Dime to buy Frito Pie from the originator of this incredible food.

    What's Frito Pie you ask? Oh, Janice will be more than happy to enthusiastically explain.

    Grab a bag of Frito Pie and climb into Evangeline as Week 5 continues.

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    Day 31: Ghost Dogs.

    The beauty of this region almost doesn't seem real. Whether it's the incredible high desert mountains on the drive into town or the historic adobe buildings of Santa Fe, the beauty can almost be overwhelming.

    Oh a day that found Dan working outside and Janice taking the kids to the Santa Fe Children's Museum--one of those "regular life" days they've talked bout before--they wrap with a conversation about the haunted dog creamatorium down the street.

    No, really.

    Week 5 gets a little spooky, join in.

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    Day 30: Citytown.

    As Week 5 continues, Janice and Dan and the kids expore Santa Fe. Is it a city? A town? A Citytown? It feels both small and big at the same time.

    But size aside, it is a city rich with history and culture that almost feels like you've been transported to another place and time. Everything in the city is made from adobe. Even the Target! It makes navigating a little difficult, but getting lost just lets you see more of this astonishing place.

    Join Janice and Dan in Santa Fe as Week 5 continues.

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    Day 29: There's more to every place.

    Week 5 begins with Janice, Dan, Evangeline and the whole family finally away from the brutal heat of southern New Mexico and situated over 7,000 feet in the mountains outside Santa Fe.

    It's cool and beautiful and, well, the connectivity sucks but that's just more reason to head into town where they discover a tamale restaurant opened by a former luchador and remember again that there are stories everywhere you look.

    Speaking of stories, Janice shares one about an exploding toilet.

    Get in the trailer, week 5 starts here!

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    Day 28: The End of Something.

    Week 4 comes to a close with Dan and Janice sitting outside on their last night in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

    While it is the end of the first 28 days of the trip (catch up if you haven't listened to them all), it also feels like more than that. Dan and Janice try and figure out why exactly leaving this campsite and pushing north to Santa Fe feels so much like a chapter end and why even though there's still more than half the trip left, it feels like something is ending tonight.

    Listen to the final bird calls in Carlsbad and join them for the 7th day of the fourth week--the end of something but definitely not of the trip.

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    Day 27: The Truth is Out There.

    Today Dan, Janice, the 14-year-old, and the 4-year-old went to the UFO Festival in Roswell New Mexico! Home of the infamous UFO crash in 1947, Roswell has turned that infamy into a yearly festival, a museum, and a main street lined with alien tourist traps. Listener, it is pretty amazing.

    While everyone was ready for crowds of conspiracy theorists, what they found instead was a really fun festival--more county fair than flat earth convention--that happened to have men in black chasing aliens through the streets, a space-themed pet costume contest, alien photo ops, and more dusty rubber alien dioramas than anyone really could handle. Also, the 14-year-old had a run in with a murder ghost in a rock shop.

    Listener, the truth is out there and also on this episode of The Hitch. Come to Roswell with us.

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    Day 26: Going Underground.

    It's well over 100 degrees outside in Carlsbad New Mexico and the Heat Devil lurks to turn you cranky if you don't ward against him. But thankfully none of that matters because everyone spent the day at a cool 56 degrees 750 feet under the ground in Carlsbad Caverns!

    Easily among the top 5 National Parks Janice or Dan have ever visited, Carlsbad Caverns is truly a wondrous place. Almost impossible to describe on a podcast, it is an entire world underground filled with rock formations that seem more alien than earthly. And you can walk, unguided and unhurried through it all, marveling at every turn.

    Cool down with Janice and Dan as they attempt to tell you about the wonder that is Carlsbad Caverns!

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    Day 25: Birthdaycast!

    As week four rolls on, it's a day to celebrate! It's the youngests birthday--no longer a three year old, he's now FOUR and joins Janice and Dan to open today's episode. Also, it's the 4th of July but mostly it's a Birthdaycast today!

    It is incredibly hot--temperatures over 100 degrees so on this celebratory day everyone ends up in the pool a lot and this episode was recorded huddled in the shade underneath the trailer's awning, drip-drying and trying to escape the blazing sun.

    But birthday!

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    Day 24: Saving Memories for Winter.

    Today finds Dan and Janice on a drive day from Marfa to Carlsbad, New Mexico. It's hot, they're tired, but what a drive it was.

    When you road trip some days the drives are purely perfunctory--a necessity to get you from one destination to another. Other days the drive days are like this: stunning from start to finish, easy (well, mostly), and so full of beauty that you try and capture it in your mind to save for a cold winter day when you need something to get you through.

    No towns, no buildings, just beautiful landscape for a few hundred miles.

    Of course, then it got too beautiful and the car almost overheated up a mountain pass. So, let's talk about that too.

    Day 24: beautiful, exciting, and a little bit out to get you.

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    Day 23: A Company Town Where the Company is Art.

    Week 4 continues with Dan and Janice sitting in the back of Evangeline trying to figure out Marfa Texas. This is a town that, on paper, seems taylor made for the two of them: It's a small high desert town filled with beautiful, old adobe brick homes that also has a expansive art scene. Towns like this don't come around much and there's a lot about it that they love. And yet.

    This is the longest episode of The Hitch so far this season, because there's a lot to figure out. On this episode you get not just one but TWO analogies of places that Janice and Dan have lived and also extensive descriptions of the art, architecture, and feel of this very unique desert town.

    Join us in Marfa on today's episode of The Hitch!

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    Day 22: Out Here.

    Week 4 begins in a post-apocalyptic trailer park just outside Marfa Texas.

    Join Janice and Dan in this odd-but-charming campground to hear about the stunning drive and their excitement about the remote West Texas art town of Marfa. Marfa is a town of contrasts, and while they haven't gotten deep into it yet, it's already revealing itself to be a puzzle they want to solve.

    Week 4 starts here! Listen to the crickets and join in the travels of The Hitch!

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    Day 21: The Whole Landscape Changed.

    Week three wraps up with a drive day. But it wasn't just any drive day: it was a day to face a fear.

    There was no way around towing through the rain today and so Janice faced that fear. And, on the other side of the rain, suddenly they found themselves in The West. The greens have become yellows and browns, the lush trees have been replaced by hearty desert trees. And they're out there: no cell, no wifi (in fact, if you're reading this it means they finally got some).

    End week three with Dan and Janice (and a big spider and maybe snakes) as they look back and ahead.

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    Day 20: The Poo Cone Episode.

    This episode is not for the squeamish--but neither is pulling around a thing that you do bodily functions in. It goes with the territory.

    For listeners of Season One, you'll remember that Dan lived in fear of a Poo Cone forming in their trailer toilet. Well guess what?

    An episode about the worst thing happening, and overcoming fear. And, well, poo.

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    Day 19: A Real Easy Place to Enjoy.

    Recorded during a late night run to the campsite laundry, Dan and Janice look at a day that FINALLY brought them to Barton Springs Pool!

    It was a marvelous day spent in the pool, eating BBQ and generally marveling at everything Austin has to offer. And then the three-year-old nearly ended them by refusing to go to sleep.

    In the trailer, there's nowhere to hide out, so sometimes you have to record in the laundry.

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    Day 18: Keeping Cool.

    It's been hot in Austin (though locals will point out that it's been hotter) and so today was all about trying to stay cool.

    Another attempt at going to the Barton Springs Pool to cool down was thwarted, and so Janice and Dan and the whole family found wonderful AC and great stuff to look at at the Blanton Art Museum instead. And then they followed it up with vegan ice cream and a swim in the campground pool.

    Anything to stay cool as Week 3 continues!

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    Day 17: Tacos & BBQ.

    Bellies full from some of the best tacos they've ever eaten, enjoyed with friends at a roadside taco/bbq joint in South Austin, Dan and Janice sit down to talk about the day. Life continues to be pretty great on this extended stop in Austin, Texas.

    While Dan worked, Janice took the three year old to a children's museum so that, after a few days of being dragged to things he didn't want to do, he could let it out.

    Plus, an added bonus story about avoiding a turtle in the road!

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    Day 16: How Normal it Can Feel.

    Everyone has settled into life in Austin: Dan is working full days, Janice is commuting into town with the kids.

    Here in the third week, everything has settled into a routine. And it's pretty great.

    This is what living on the road really is. Join in.

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    Day 15: Rainy Day in Austin.

    Week three begins with Janice and Dan starting to have some days spent in parallel instead of everyone together.

    Living on the road means working on the road and as Dan settles in to a long stretch of work, Janice goes to find something to do on a very rainy day in Austin.

    Thankfully, the 14-year-old had a good idea and they end up making the most of a rain day.

    Settle in to Week 3 in Austin Texas with Janice, Dan, and the whole fam.

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    Day 14: Tacos as Far as You Can See

    Week two comes to a conclusion in Austin Texas, where Evangeline will be parked for the next week. After three days on the road, having a long visit in a great town is a welcome respite--plus the campsite is great.

    Recorded in a very echoy common room at the campsite while the three-year-old and 14-year-old do a puzzle in the background, Janice and Dan reflect on a breakfast of tacos with friends followed by visiting a few different bookstores and getting excited for the full week of Austin to come (emphasis on "full" because the food in this town is incredible).

    Week two comes to a close, week three starts soon, and there are a lot of tacos to eat between now and then. We'll save you a seat at the picnic table!

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    Day 13: A Theme Park for Shiplap

    Maybe when you think of Waco Texas you think of the standoff at the Branch Davidian compound the 1990s. Well, there's a new compound in Waco that's getting all the attention now: The Magnolia Market at the Silos, a fortress of a different kind buit by HGTV design stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.

    Long a staple hotel room cable viewing for Dan and Janice and the family, they took advantage of a late checkout at the campground to go visit this place and, listener, it was bananas.

    It's hard to explain, but basically it's a theme park for upscale rustic living. And it attracts 50,000 people a week. Plus us.

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    Day 12: Secret Texan

    Another drive day lands Janice and Dan and the family on the shores of Lake Waco in Waco Texas.

    They had to back up again and, without the help of a nosy neighbor (but admittedly heeding his advice), it went great!

    Too tired (and hot) to get the trailer set for cooking, everyone instead decamps for storied Texas burger chain Whataburger! After Dan orders a Dr Pepper Shake, Janice reveals that she is, in fact, a secret Texan!

    Chow down with The Hitch as week two continues.

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    Day 11: Backing into Texarkana

    After a long drive day crossing Arkansas diagonally, Janice and Dan finally get to their campsite located on a very high lake in the town of Texarkana Texas. And that would be that except for the never-ending advice of a campsite neighbor.

    While the advice was welcome at first, as the site was the first back-in of the trip and backing up a trailer is a skillset not fully in Janice's possession yet, it just kept coming and coming and coming.

    So it goes sometimes, but just in case he'd hear something and come back again this episode was recorded using our quiet voices.

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    Day 10: A Change is Gonna Come

    It's the last night in Memphis and Dan and Janice sit on the porch of the campground laundromat and reflect on their visit to the National Civil Rights Museum. Listener, they both get choked up.

    Located at the site of Martin Luther King's assassination, the Lorraine Motel, the museum tells the story of the struggle for civil rights in America. Deeply moving, powerful, and thought-provoking, it was a heavy but important capstone to the week spent in Memphis.

    Getting ready to move on, but thinking of everything they've done, Dan and Janice come to the conclusion that this won't be their last visit to this city.

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    Day Nine: Walking in Memphis

    Some days you set out with a clear plan and a destination in mind, other days you just set out and see what happens. Today was one of those days: no real agenda, a nice temperature, and a surprisingly quiet downtown Memphis lead Janice and Dan and the family to simply go on a walk.

    So, of course this episode was going to have to be called Walking in Memphis. Apologies for the earworm.

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    Day Eight: Like Disney if Disney Sucked

    Week Two starts with a visit to two Memphis tourist destinations that both feature ducks. Sure, let's do it.

    First up is watching the 90-year-old tradition of ducks descend in an elevator and then walk a red carpet into a fountain at the Peabody Hotel. No, really. There's a whole ceremony, an official Duckmaster and, well, it's actually pretty fun!

    Then there's the Bass Pro Shop, which is inexplicably located inside a gigantic pyramid just off of Downtown Memphis and it's got ducks inside it too, and fish, and alligators and, boats, and taxidermy and it's all inside a gigantic pyramid. Typing all that it sounds fun! Listener, it is not that fun. Why? Let Dan and Janice sort it out.

    Come on and hear duck tales at the campsite tonight.

    Week two starts here!

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    Day Seven: Staxing the Deck

    Week One wraps up with an epic Father's Day in Memphis.

    While some days are living simply (or simply living), others are as full as they possibly could be. Or maybe that's just Dan and Janice's stomachs as this fathers day featured not just a big breakfast at the Waffle House, but also a huge mid-afternoon dinner of Memphis-style barbecue.

    But the main attraction was a visit to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, built on the site of the legendary label Stax Records. Long on Dan's list of places he wanted to visit, he finally got his chance. And it wasn't just Dan that was blown away by it, everyone was--even the three-year-old got down on the dance floor at the museum. An important piece of music history, black history, and Memphis history, the museum managed to cover it all in a way that felt both reverential and celebratory.

    It was a wonderful day and a great way to wrap up the first week of the trip. There's still so much more to come, so subscribe and tell your friends!

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    Day Six: Parklife

    When Janice and Dan sat down and stared plotting this summer's trip, Memphis was high on the list of places they wanted to visit. And so when she started mapping out the whole thing, Janice made sure to make Memphis the first place that they parked Evangeline for a more extended stay. And now that they're there and have gotten settled in, it really feels like the trip has begun for real.

    And so of course, the first thing they did was change plans. Originally a day to visit the Civil Rights Museum and the ducks at the Peabody Hotel, instead the whole family took advantage of the sunny weather to hit a park and... and they kind of never left.

    Sometimes you have to slow down and just be a part of the life around you, and this was that kind of day. A beautiful park, a good playground, a run for Janice and oh right: a hamburger where the buns were two grilled cheese sandwiches for the 14-year-old.

    Pretty much a perfect day.

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    Day Five: You're Still You When You're on the Road

    Janice and Dan and family decamp from St. Louis to head down south to Memphis. But not before (another) late start, this time not because of any technical reasons or lack of sleep, but instead because they had to try and buy wrestling tickets for a show in Chicago after the summer is over.

    That's the thing about spending so much time on the road: even though you're far from home, you still need to keep tabs, you still need to keep working, and you also need to think about things that may need to get done once you're back. Some of it is very banal, like making sure the lawn is getting cut, others are exciting like high-flying wrestlers.

    But it's all part of balancing the the many parts of a life on the road--and sometimes that means a late start.

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    Day Four: Arch Exploration

    Week One continues with more from St. Louis!

    Join Janice and Dan as they talk about exploring around the Gateway Arch--you know the gigantic arch in St. Louis. That is, if they ever get there.

    There's a lot of work involved in living in a tiny space and if you get behind on it, it takes a lot of effort to catch back up. And, guess who got behind? Everyone. So before they can head out to see the Arch, they have to pay off all the debt of dishes, recycling, and all the other things that need to happen in a day.

    Routines are totally new and they take time to relearn. They're not there yet, but that doesn't mean the adventure stops--but neither does life.

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    Day Three: Climbing the Walls at the City Museum

    Join Janice and Dan and the family as they explore Saint Louis!

    After two travel days, they're off the road for a couple days and they're making the most of it. Today, they explored the City Museum, a former shoe factory that was converted into one of the most unique spaces you will ever encounter. Four floors of sculptures you can climb and explore, it's a place where every crack in the floor may lead to something unexpected, if you're willing to explore it.

    Which is a lot like life, come to think of it.

    Climb up that metal habitrail and slide down into the new episode of The Hitch!

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    Day Two: Meet Me in St Louis

    Week One of the new season of The Hitch continues. After a brief overnight in rural Illinois (and an even briefer night's sleep thanks to the three-year-old's excitement keeping everyone awake), Janice and Dan hitch up again and pull Evangeline to just outside Saint Louis.

    Towing miles are long miles, and the whole rig takes a lot of getting used to. And instead of the short two hour pull yesterday, today's crossed the five hour mark, necessitating a stop for gas along the way. All this stuff, dear listener, has a learning curve. Come learn alongside us.

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    Day One: Setting Out Anew

    Welcome back to The Hitch! A whole new summer on the road STARTS HERE!

    That's right, it's time to climb back into Evangeline and join Janice, Dan, their fourteen-year-old, their three-year-old, and their dog Spotty as they live in their 27' Airstream trailer for two months on the road!

    It's Day One, and that means getting used to towing, loading up the trailer, and trying to make all the things you need for a life fit into a tiny metal tube. But it's worth it, and while the act of getting on the road wasn't easy, now that they're on it Dan and Janice reflect on what it all means. While dodging mosquitoes.

    Climb on board and get ready for a summer of adventure.

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    Hitching Back Up

    Welcome to Season Two of The Hitch!

    This summer Dan and Janice and the whole crew will be climbing back into their Ford Expedition and hitching back up to Evangeline, their 27' Airstream travel trailer for summer on the road. Where are they heading? In this episode they'll tell you!

    But even more than that, the adventure starts here: After a long cold winter, they're hitching back up and taking Evangeline to get some service done before they hit the road in a few weeks. So suddenly, rusty and a little terrified, they've pulled out and on to the open road once again.

    It's a brief trip, but it's enough to remind them of how much they don't know--and how excited they are for more. And it's all starting soon!

    Think of this episode as an extended trailer (pun entirely intended) and get ready for weekly episode drops starting June 17 with the first week back on the road full time.

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    The Hitch Gift Guide

    Looking for gifts for the road tripper in your life? Or maybe that means gifts for YOU? Janice and Dan got together to make a gift guide of a TON of things that they use while they're out on the road!

    This episode they talk over some of the highlights from the list, with an emphasis on a lot of the things that do dual use both on the road and back at home.

    Shopping for others? Looking for yourself? We got you!

    For the full list, go to

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    Hey Hitch listeners!

    So both Janice & Dan are sick this week. We wanted to jump into your feed for just a second though to let you know that we will be back next week with our HITCH GIFT GUIDE for your road-trip gifting needs.

    To that end, if you have specific stuff you'd like recommendations for, please drop us a line!

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    Buying an Airstream

    A few episodes back, Dan and Janice fielded questions about buying a trailer and a tow vehicle. One listener wanted some more information about specifically buying an Airstream, so they're back!

    How did they decide on a model? How to find a dealer? What about online classifieds? Are there special loans? All this and more!

    It's cold in Chicago this December, so let's all pretend we're off walking around RV lots and dreaming of spring.

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    Stuck in the Snow

    With winter hitting the US early, Dan and Janice talk about their worst winter road trip! Take a snowy trip down memory lane with The Hitch crew.

    Sometimes things don't go quite according to plan, and when their car starts making weird sounds in the middle of a massive blizzard, Dan and Janice have to think quickly. The result? An unexpected lengthy stopover in rural Nebraska!

    How to make the best of it when everything goes wrong: this week on The Hitch!

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    The Handmade Teardrop Trailer (part two)

    This week Dan and Janice are joined once again by Matt Berger, author of The Handmade Teardrop Trailer which is OUT NOW and is amazing.

    Last week, they learned about Matt's motivations and some of the history of the teardrop trailer itself. This week, they're going into the garage and learning how Matt put this thing together piece by piece.

    What was hard? What was easy? Matt did it all and is here to tell Dan and Janice more about it.

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    The Handmade Teardrop Trailer (part one)

    Janice and Dan have stored Evangeline for the winter, so they thought they'd do something new: Talk to someone else about their love of trailers and camping!

    Today (and next week) they talk with Matt Berger, the author of the incredible new book (OUT THIS WEEK) The Handmade Teardrop Trailer.

    You read that right: Matt made his own trailer. What?? Exactly.

    Janice and Dan had so many questions that they broke the interview into two parts. This week they talk about his love of making and of camping, why he started started this project, and what he learned about teardrops as he researched the history of them.

    Matt's book is November 15 and is both super interesting and super beautiful. Pick it up!

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    Choosing a Campground

    Are you thinking about hitting the road, but aren't sure how to find a campground that's right for you?

    This week Janice and Dan answer questions about what to look for in a campground, the different types, and how to make the decision that's going to make the best camping experience possible for you and your family. Plus, they talk about some of their favorite spots both on big trips and small.

    From National Parks to Jellystone Park, join Janice and Dan for a look at what's out there and why it's right for you.

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    Anxious Driving

    Janice and Dan answer YOUR questions about anxious driving. They share their best tips for reducing anxiety while on the road, as well as strategies for motivating to take those drives in spite of fear and doubt!

    Buckle up, check your rearview, side mirrors, and backup camera, and let's do this!

    Thanks so much to our listeners who have written in. We love to hear from you!

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    The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

    Come along, with Dan, Janice, and family as they take Evangeline out for one last camping trip of the season!

    Told over the course of four days in Madison, Wisconsin, where the weather is literally freezing and there is a football game they didn't know about that brings a lot of cold weather campers to their campground. Wander the blustery streets of Madison with them, looking for adventure, and then retreat back to Evangeline, where thankfully, the heater is cranking.

    Will it snow? Will pipes freeze? Will Janice remember how to tow? Hop on in and find out.

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    Getting Your Rig (part two)

    Have you ever wondered what the differences are between Class A, Class B, and Class C RVs?

    Are you having trouble deciding where to start looking for a new trailer or motorhome?

    Have you considered going to an RV show for fun? No, really.

    In this episode of The Hitch, Janice and Dan discuss all of these things, as well as some of their favorite trailers and motorhomes they have run across while looking. Remember, it's always free and fun to look and it's never too early to start! So grab your notebook and let's go!

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    Getting Your Rig (part one)

    How did Dan and Janice get their trailer--what was their decision making process like and how did it all go? And, more importantly, how can YOU get your rig together so you can hit the road?

    On this episode of The Hitch, Dan and Janice answer YOUR questions about their setup and how to get started making a trailer & tow vehicle purchase.

    Looking for (and buying) a trailer is a big task so today's episode is the first of a two-parter! Tune in next week to hear more about trailer types, things they've looked at before, and other ways of getting on the road too.

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    Traveling With Kids

    Janice and Dan are so excited because people wrote to them and they have questions to answer!

    In this episode, they answer questions about traveling with kids: When should you leave? What should you bring? How do you handle the screaming? What about privacy?

    Listen and find out what they think are the best tips for surviving and thriving with kids on the road.

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    They're back! Join Janice and Dan back inside Evangeline. No, they're not back on the road, just dropping off some bedding after a month away from the trailer but they're here to catch you up on how they've been and also to give you BIG NEWS on the future of The Hitch! Because after a month away, they're ready to hitch back up.

    That's right: Janice and Dan may be off the road (for now), but they're back to give thoughts, stories, and advice to get YOU moving on your own adventures.

    So get in contact with your questions about road tripping, about advice for embarking on adventures, and for thoughts on how to pick up the pieces after life's challenges have gotten the best of you!

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    Day 61: Unhitched

    They’re home. Sad and exhausted and recorded in the basement of their home (which feels huge) Janice and Dan look back at the last day and ahead at what’s next.

    It’s been an amazing sixty-one days full of struggle and triumph and errands and just life. Thank you for joining Janice and Dan in the trailer, and keep following to find out what’s next.

    It’s goodbye, but only just for now.

    Because, as they say in this episode: the best parts of their life are lived on the road, so it won’t be long until they’re back out again.

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    Day 60: One More Night

    This is it, the last night in the trailer. Tonight Janice and Dan are joined in the trailer by their 13-year-old who looks back on the last eight weeks with them.

    It’s a bittersweet goodbye punctuated by teenage humor, but there’s a lot to reflect on. There are the places seen, the people met, and the many, many lessons learned on life in a trailer.

    So it's the end of the road. Tomorrow’s the drive home and then Evangeline gets put in storage—until the next road trip. Say your goodbyes.


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    Day 59: Live from the Mall of America

    With time running out, the crew makes a day of it at the mall! But not just any mall—join Janice and Dan under a roller coaster at the Mall of America, the largest, most overwhelming, mall you will ever know.

    Surrounded by all this excess, they start to think about how just last week they were in the middle of nowhere, where thrills were the stars at night and the stores were so small they didn’t have some basics. But now here they are!

    The three year old even gets in on the podcast today, joining in to talk about his favorite ride at the mall. Get an all-you-can-ride wristband and listen to The Hitch!

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    Day 58: The Days are Literally Numbered

    They’re back in Minneapolis and time is looping back on itself for Dan and Janice and family, as the time spent here two months ago feels closer than time spent in South Dakota last week. Time is a flat circle.

    But as their time in the trailer winds down, they start to think about how different things will be back at home, starting with the 13-year-old not being around all the time. He’s not around tonight either, now on his second sleepover in as many days.

    They know the time they’ve spent together is great, but also, that it’s now fleeting. Grab on to these last few days with Dan and Janice and don’t let go. Week eight--the very last week of this trip--begins here.

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    Day 57: How Far We’ve Come

    It’s almost done now. After a drive from Sioux Falls to Southwest Minneapolis, Janice and Dan pull into the last campground of the trip.

    Following the same route back as they did out allows them some perspective on just how much they’ve grown over this time. They’re no longer afraid to tow, able to make time and get gas and do all the things involved in pulling a trailer across America.

    Pulling into Minneapolis also gives them an opportunity to stock up on some things they’ve been unable to get in the smaller towns they’ve been frequently. But the land of plenty that is Minneapolis also makes them wistful for the simplicity of the places they’ve just left.

    It’s a mixed bag of emotions, hoist it into the trailer with Janice and Dan.

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    Day 56: Full Circle

    Dan and Janice return to the same campsite in Sioux Falls they were in seven weeks ago. And the contrast is striking: They know what they’re doing.

    Well, mostly.

    Janice does blow a fuse when cooking mac & cheese, but they just roll with it.

    And that’s how they deal with a lot of it now: They know enough to know that some things are no big deal and they don’t have to live in fear of all of it.

    Of course, there’s still the weather to fear, and rain in the future causes another change in their itinerary. Travel is about flexibility, so why not flex the trip once again.

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    Day 55: Ghost Town

    Janice and Dan spend the last wilderness day on the road driving down a long dirt road. What’s at the end? A little town called scenic. That sounds nice!

    Well, Scenic is not what the name might imply. It’s a ghost town, filled with ramshackle buildings and an oddly large number of metal cages. Oh, and an unfamiliar flag everywhere and brand-new banners advertising a worship service.

    Wait, what?

    Climb in the trailer listener, there's a story to tell.

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    Day 54: Live from Wall Drug

    Join Janice and Dan in the back yard of Wall Drug to hear stories of tourist traps and nuclear missiles. Wait, what?

    It’s true: This area of South Dakota is not just known for the Badlands, but also for being the site of 150 Minuteman Missiles. After the rain of yesterday, the crew sets out to find one of them.

    After a sobering visit with a missile, they wind up back at Wall Drug, where they decided to record today’s episode. Join ‘em cowboy

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    Day 53: Driving Rain

    The one unfaced fear that Dan and Janice have had in 53 days on the road was faced today: Towing the trailer in the rain.

    Just about 90 minutes before they had to leave the Black Hills for the Badlands, the rain started and it didn’t let up. Dan got wet hitching up, Janice truckered up, and off they went (after a quick picnic at the dump station that is).

    It was miserable work, but they made it to the Badlands and they learned they could do the one thing they hadn’t yet had to do.

    Get wet with The Hitch.

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    Day 52: Bittersweet Black Hills

    It’s the last night in the Black Hills, the end of their longest stay of the trip and the start of the road home. Both Dan and Janice don’t’ want to leave, don’t want to head back, and want to stay here in this place forever.

    But they can’t, so this is goodbye to the Black Hills, and a campsite that has been there for their family over and over again over the last decade.

    Goodbye to the Black Hills, hello to life on the road again.

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    Day 51: We’re Going to Rapid City, Rapid City Here We Come

    Dan and Janice and the crew head down from the hills for a day in Rapid City.

    What began as an errand run ended at the top of the highest mountain in town surrounded by dinosaurs.

    No, really, in 1936 the city elders decided to construct life-sized dinosaurs to bring in tourists and, nearly 100 years later, here come Janice and Dan.

    Week Seven starts here!

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    Day 50: Fifty Days Already?

    Today is Day fifty of the trip—less than two weeks from done—and it’s got Dan and Janice thinking about how time moves too fast.

    Despite living in a tin can with a three year old, a thirteen year old, and a dog, it’s just… worked. Only on rare occasions does it feel cramped and mostly it’s just a place that has felt so completely like home that the thought of leaving is a lot.

    Of course the trip’s not over yet, but the end is coming. Can they stave off the melancholy of the end? Can they make it the rest of the week without emptying the gray tank? So many questions that will have to wait until Week Seven for an answer!

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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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    Day 40 Part One: Beautiful Bozeman

    Recording in the dark because the power just went out moments before due to a wild rain storm that just blew through, Janice and Dan recount today’s visit to Bozeman, Montana, a town that—at least today—could do no wrong.

    Amazing indie bookstore? Great coffee? A perfect slice of greasy pizza? Yep yep and yep.

    Let’s face it: The whole town had their number. Even the 13-year-old was completely charmed.

    So hear tell of a great day and oh, that power outage? Surely it’s nothing. RIght?

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    Day 39: A River Runs Through It

    Finally having arrived in their home base for the next five days, Janice and Dan sit on a creaky swing on the banks of the Yellowstone River. Their campsite is located in an area called “Paradise Valley” And it lives up to the name: spectacular mountains rising up dramatically, with the Yellowstone river winding its way down the center.

    This campsite backs up right to the river, with uninterrupted views out the dinette window. Wait, did someone say “Backs up?” Yes, Janice had to navigate a 90 degree back-in site today. AND SHE NAILED IT.

    There are a lot of things to see in the next few days: Yellowstone National Park along with more personal siteseeing, as Janice used to live in this area 20 years ago and it’s her first time back.

    Listen to the river and let it take you down to the paradise valley, where the grass is green and the… oh forget it.

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    Day 38: Parenting is Hard

    Traveling with your family in a 27’ trailer can be wonderful, other times it can be tonight.

    After an easy drive day, the crew settles down in Buffalo, Wyoming a small town with not a lot more beyond Dan’s favorite gas station chain. It all seemed like it was going to be an uneventful day.

    And then the three-year-old just flat-out refused to go to sleep. Three hours later and Janice and Dan are exhausted.

    Oh also: The 13-year-old gets a mysterious cut on his head and keeps rummaging around the trailer trying to find a band-aid, because of course.

    Let’s say it again: parenting is hard.

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    Day 37: Back at it

    After a week trailerless in the Colorado mountains, Janice and Dan and family are back on the road, pulling Evangeline, and heading north.

    Dan’s out of a job now, which means the last third of the trip has officially begun. And it starts with a bit of a bang: they crew is loading out early to beat a severe thunderstorm that might hit their destination of Douglas, Wyoming which, the night before, had been hit by a tornado. NBD.

    Sure, the weather threatened to be a little more severe than expected but all in all it felt good to be back home in the trailer.

    Week Five starts now!

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    Day 28: Storing Evangeline

    Janice and Dan say goodbye to Evangeline for a week, leaving her parked next to a beautiful vintage airstream in an RV storage facility in suburban Denver.

    It’s a bittersweet goodbye: When originally planning the trip, they assumed they’d want a break. But they don’t! Leaving the trailer behind was heartbreaking: a loss of home and of routine.

    But, they are going to spend a week up in the mountains where they are WAY TO AFRAID to pull the trailer, so sacrifices were made.

    Recorded from Janice’s sister’s bedroom, this is the last time Dan and Janice will record for a week.

    TAKE NOTE: While Week 5 will come out next week as expected (because they timed releasing episodes in anticipation of this week break), BE PREPARED for a numbering jump, because a week away from Evangeline means a week not recording. See you back here next week for Day 37 and beyond!

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    Day 27: Full Timing It

    The halfway point of the trip is fast approaching, and nobody wants it to end. Which is why it felt like fate when Janice met a couple at the campsite truly living the dream: Living full time in their RV.

    Sure, they might be in year two on the road, gearing up to spend two weeks entirely away from hookups but in talking with them, Janice and Dan realize: They started not knowing what they were doing too.

    There’s a lot to learn and today you get to learn about RV terminology. What’s the difference between a fifth wheel and a class A? Gather round and learn something too.

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    Day 26: Laundry Day

    Look, do Dan and Janice talk about the laundromat for the entire episode? Yes, yes they do.

    But it was a really great laundromat. And not even because it was located next to a dispensary called “The Bud Depot.”

    When you travel, doing laundry really lets you see a town in a way that the people that live there do. In this case? With a wall of books, another wall of nonfunctional dryers slowly being covered in stickers, and a surprisingly clean bathroom, it’s pretty amazing.

    Grab your bag of dirties, grab a bag of quarters, and join us at the laundromat.

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    Day 25: Blackout

    Dan’s out with a friend from Denver when he discovers an increasingly urgent series of text messages from Janice: The power’s out at the trailer!

    Mistakes were made. Mistakes involving trying out the space-age wonder called the combination microwave/convection oven while maybe running the air conditioning a little too hard.

    This probably wouldn’t be a problem if anyone knew where the circuit breakers were. But guess what?

    Look, nobody claimed to know what they were doing.

    The quest for power is on!

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    Day 24: Always Free, Always Fun

    Dan’s working out of the tiny library in this two-street town and Dan and Janice sit by the banks of the rushing St Vrain river to discuss the many times they’ve used libraries on their travels.

    That is, they would if they weren’t interrupted by tubers floating by—and coming on shore. And did one of them say something about a snake?

    But back to libraries: They’re great!

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    Day 23: Sprint Hitching

    It’s a move day and while they’re only traveling a half hour away, Janice and Dan find themselves running late with park rangers circling. In the sprint to move, they realize something: They’re learning.

    Not a lot, but at least a little.

    Of course, on arriving in an idyllic city park campground Lyons, Colorado, they realize they have to back in to the space. Can Janice back the trailer in? Did Dan break anything on the rush out of the previous campsite?


    Welcome to week four of The Hitch!

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    Day 22: Lessons We Haven't Learned

    Mistakes were made. A weekend trip to one of the biggest water parks in America has left Dan with a bruised rib. Was the teenaged staff to blame? Oh most definitely not, just a bunch of full-grown adults making bad decisions. What else is new?

    Look: When you ride a novelty water slide that ends in rooms full of robot dinosaurs, don’t you want as many people in your tube with you? OK sure, maybe there are a lot of signs warning against it, but what’s the worst that could happen?

    Like a lot of life, that tube had two speeds: Dragging bottom or hauling ass. Hop on in—there’s plenty of room.

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    Day 21: The Club Nobody Wants to Be in

    Last year Janice joined a club: breast cancer. It’s a club nobody wants to be in, but once you’re in, sharing stories with other members is crucial to making it through.

    Today was one of those days, as Janice and Dan and the kids met up with another family that’s lived through the hell of breast cancer. That gets them talking about the year they’ve survived and gets Janice reflecting on what it’s like making the transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor.

    Plus, today was the day The Hitch was released into the wild (uploaded outside a library near midnight) and it was Friday the 13th. What could possibly go wrong.

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    Day 20: The Heat is Gone

    Join Dan & Janice outside the trailer for once, as the unrelenting heat finally relented for an evening! Instead of huddling on their bed, they sit around the picnic table at dusk to tell you this:

    That tin can they named Evangeline? Now they’re also calling it “home.”

    It helps that things have gotten very domestic: they’re commuting in every day, Dan’s getting dropped at a library to do his job, Janice is visiting family. It’s not a vacation, it’s just life.

    Sometimes, that’s enough.

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    Day Nineteen: The Heat is On

    Holy crap it is hot. Every day Janice & Dan have been in Colorado it has topped 100 degrees and while the AC is (thankfully) working in the trailer, everything else is really starting to heat up. Sure, it might be a dry heat but so is your oven on full blast.

    Living in a campground that’s cooking under an unrelenting sun brings in some odors. And some of them are starting to come from the trailer itself.

    Plus, the whole family beats the heat by going bowling and that gets Janice & Dan thinking back to how they first met. You want their origin story? It involves Mexican wrestling, cuts of meat, and bowling.

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    Day Eighteen: The New Normal

    Three weeks on the road and Janice and Dan have settled into a real routine now. He’s working, she’s heading out with the kids. Even the dog is heading to day care!

    It’s all starting to feel really… normal.

    But of course, when you’re recovering from Cancer, there’s a lot of “new normals” to contend with and Janice and Dan break down all the normals they’re learning to live with.

    There’s been a lot of upheaval, both chosen and unchosen, and learning to find “normal” again is part of the adventure these folks are on.

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    Day Seventeen: Poopgate

    Some days are pretty great, other days you find mystery poop smeared on your trailer cushions.

    There’s no nice way to put it folks: Dan and Janice find themselves embroiled in POOPGATE. It's not a controversy they want to be involved in, but here we are.

    Not only is there mystery poop, but Janice took a firm hit to the head from a broken awning before coffee and everyone had to go to Walmart. Twice.

    It was not a good day, but they share it with you.

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    Day Sixteen: Welcome to Colorful Colorado

    Janice, Dan, Evangeline, and the family arrive in Colorado, their home for the next three weeks (though not all in one place). It took the longest tow day they’ve had to get there and they also traversed the smallest highways they’ve been on. How’d it go?

    Surprisingly well! It turns out, there are some plusses to highways instead of the interstates one of which is everyone moves a lot slower so when you’re lugging 6,000 pounds behind you, you’re not the only slow moving vehicle on the road.

    But, the further they got from the Black Hills the hotter and windier it got so it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

    Climb in the trailer, week three starts here!

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    Day Fifteen: Old School Navigation

    It’s been five nights in the Black Hills and now Dan and Janice are gearing up to head to Colorado. But without internet, Janice falls back on pen, paper, and a good old-school road atlas to figure out the best route.

    Normally the best route is the fastest, but when you’re pulling 27’ behind you, there’s more to consider than that: are the highways single-lane, so you’ve got people winging out around you to pass? What about gas stations: are there enough to get you from one to the next when you’re only getting 10 MPG? Plus, Wyoming is famous for is cross-winds and the weather report was for 100 degrees. How to figure out all these different factors? Find out.

    Plus, climb down 300 steps while carrying at toddler to explore Wind Cave National Park. It was amazing, also Dan’s arms hurt.

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    Day Fourteen: Calm-bilibrium

    Janice is feeling something she hasn’t felt since before her cancer year: is it… relaxed? Having spent the day visiting sites in the Black Hills, she’s found a level of calm she hasn’t felt in a long time. It’s well deserved.

    And speaking of those sites, it was an amazing day visiting Crazy Horse (another mountain they’re blowing up into a sculpture but it’s taking a lot longer), driving through Custer National Park (BISON BABY ALERT. BISON BABY ALERT), and taking the Needles Highway.

    What’s the Needles Highway you ask? Janice and Dan didn’t know either, but it turns out it is amazing provided that you: (a) know the width of your car in advance (b) know the height of your car and (c) don’t almost run out of gas before you’ve climbed the whole thing. If you don’t know those things, it’s maybe a little stressful.

    But potentially getting the car wedged in a 9’ wide tunnel or running out of gas at the top of a mountain isn’t going to stop Janice from reaching that perfect state of calm-bilibrium.

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    Day Thirteen: Offline

    Living in a 27’ aluminum tube is hardly roughing it, but this stay in the Black Hills has proven to be more rustic than Dan and Janice anticipated. With campsite WiFi that bursts into tears if you try and connect to it and cell service that drops to no bars miles away, they’re left stranded at the side of the information superhighway (sorry).

    Since Dan is supposed to be working and the holiday is over, they go in search of internet. How far do they travel? All the way back out of the Black Hills to Rapid City. That’s not sustainable.

    It’s a day spent searching for modern conveniences and talking about some of the unexpected pains of life on the road.

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    Day Twelve: Hope on July 4

    Janice and Dan started this trip with a two year old, but today—July 4—he’s now a three year old. Happy Birthday America and also the kid!

    They celebrate by going to Mt Rushmore, that most American of blown up mountains. There’s a bit of hesitation on their part when it dawns on them that the MAGA hat crowd may make it a less than welcoming experience.

    But, instead, they walk away from Mt Rushmore with, of all things, a glimmer of hope of what American can be.

    Light some fireworks (if there are no fire bans in effect at your campsite) and celebrate the 4th in the trailer.

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    Day Eleven: Buckets of Rain

    It’s time to put down roots for a bit as Janice and Dan pull Evangeline into a campground just outside Mt Rushmore. But they’re not outside enjoying the (massive) campground’s many amenities because the sky has opened up above them.

    Get outta that rain and climb into the camper to hear what it sounds like when hell breaks loose above an Airstream (hint: they repeatedly wonder if the recording will actually be audible) (spoiler alert: it is).

    But hell isn’t just breaking loose in the skies, it’s also broken loose at home, as the 13-year-old goes running off to find ice cream seconds before the storm hits and, with no cell service at the enormous camp site, he’s just gone!

    It’s tails of rain and tales of familial woe tonight.

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    Day Ten: Into the Badlands

    Another day, another cross-state trek buffeted by crosswinds. Did you know that pulling 6000 pounds behind you gets trickier when wind is trying to push it the other way? It’s true. This time Dan & Janice are pulling Evangeline across South Dakota. Next stop: The Badlands.

    Having made it, hooked up, and detached. The family loads in for a trek across the incredible vistas of one of the more amazing places on earth. Following a brief (OK long) digression into World Wrestling Federation T-shirt designs, Dan talks about the Ancient Hunter’s Outlook.

    Then, everyone goes to Wall Drug. What’s Wall Drug you ask? Well Janice already thinks you know. But it is an enormous tourist trap that’s equal parts shitty Disney and all the worst parts of walking around Ikea. But they do manage to walk out with a great shirt.

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    Day Nine: Back at it

    After a week in Minneapolis running a conference, Dan, Janice, and family are back at the EZ Air Park and then on the road—though not without a significant rain delay.

    It’s Dan’s first time pulling the trailer on the highway, and there’s significant crosswinds as they make their way across Minnesota for a brief overnight in Sioux Falls South Dakota (not to be confused with Sioux City Iowa, which they both did).

    Get back in the trailer with this bunch. The real adventure starts now.

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    Day Three: Somewhere In Between

    Beaten by reverse, Dan and Janice left their trailer hitched to the truck and parked on the street last night. Neither one of them slept well and today they needed to find a new place to put it. Plus, the dog was not calming down at their friend's place and so she needed to be stowed too.

    Did they get the trailer stowed? Is the dog happy? Can they finally start de-stressing?

    This is the last act in a three-part prelude to the big trip, as tomorrow the whole family will move to a hotel and Dan will shift into conference mode. It was supposed to be an easy transition, but that's the thing about traveling: you never know.

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    Day Two: Backward

    So it turns out there's a lot to learn when you're driving a trailer. After an uneventful three hour drive from the Dells to Minneapolis Minnesota, Janice and Dan pull in to their friend Jeff's house where they're going to store the trailer for a week while Dan helps run a conference. It should all be fine, right?

    Wrong! It turns out driving a trailer backwards is a whole different thing than driving it forwards. Add a very thin alley and too many garages and it becomes a game of angles and inches. And it's a game they don't win.

    Janice and Dan sit down exhausted and utterly defeated by the reverse gear.

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    Day One: Forward

    It's day one of sixty and Dan, Janice, and family are in the Wisconsin Dells. A midwestern town full of tourist traps and water slides, they're partaking in none of it: it's just a useful stopping point between A and B.

    It's a day of firsts: It's the first time they've pulled the trailer on the highway, the first time navigating construction, the first time driving more than a few miles and a few minutes. How did it go?

    Surprisingly well actually! And it gives Janice and Dan a chance to reflect on past travels and to look at the road ahead.

    Climb in to the trailer, it all starts here!

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    Welcome to The Hitch

    Welcome to the Hitch! The podcast where Dan Sinker and Janice Dillard navigate life's challenges from the back of an Airstream trailer, while traveling for 60 days through America.

    In this intro episode, we learn about the big hitch they navigated over the last year: breast cancer. Dealt a blow like that, they tried to focus on something more positive: finding a trailer and hitting the road after the hell of cancer had been defeated.

    Join Dan and Janice on the road by subscribing to The Hitch today!

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