“Riversitting” is the chronicle of an American mystery and an American love story that spread across three centuries. "1967: Accidental Hippie in a 2+2" is the first part of "Riversitting."
In 1874, in Newport, Oregon, in the lighthouse at the entrance to Yaquina Bay, a ghost is born.
In 1967, across the United States, fifteen young men and women leave their homes for the Summer of Love in San Francisco.
A Volkswagen van leaves Medford, Oregon, and heads south. The two young men inside seek a new world with a culture based on free concerts, unbound breasts, and no high school football. Since Medford sucks and California is cool, if they travel further into California and further away from Medford, they believe they should observe a sharp roll-off of suckage and a boss increase in coolness. They intend to continue until observed suckage is at a minimum, and coolness is maxed out.
Three girls and one boy depart Salt Lake City in a 1962 Rambler American 400. They want to join in the celebration of music, youth, and freedom in San Francisco they've been reading about in Life Magazine, and not waste this summer in Salt Lake City. Or any summers to follow, for that matter.
Two ambitious fry cooks escape Springfield, Missouri in a Renault Dauphine stuffed with stolen hamburger buns and a cooler full of ground beef. They have carefully-conceived plans to build a rock-and-roll-concert empire on a philosophy of cheap tickets and great vibes. The only obstacle they see ahead is finding a really cool name for their promotion company. Otherwise, a world of honeys and moneys await to the west.
An affable guy named Durr leaves Fort Smith, Arkansas, for one last road trip before the Army gets him and sends him off to Viet Nam, or worse. All he seeks is a shot at cheap buffets in Vegas, the chance to blow a few quid at the slots, and the company of a young woman old enough to buy her own beer. If he can make it that far, he wants to check out the big party he keeps hearing about in the Land of Fruits and Nuts.
Along the way, the travelers pick up hitchhikers, both boss babes and cool dudes. They encounter and overcome cheap motels, blown head gaskets, bust-minded cops, and their own innocence. By chance, all arrive almost simultaneously on the Embarcadero, under the western terminus of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Meanwhile, a maniacally powerful Pontiac 2+2 rumbles south, in the night and the fog along Coast One. Two Russian Mafia thugs have Marcus Distelfink in the trunk. They have kidnapped him from his home in Newport, and now head for the Golden Gate Bridge, with orders to throw him over the rail with fifty pounds of weights tied to his feet.
Marcus escapes and steals their monstrous muscle car. He flees south into San Francisco, frantic to lose himself in the crowds of pilgrims coming to the Gathering of the Tribes in the City of God. In the course of the day, he finds himself among the others gathered on the Embarcadero.
Soon, he and the rest will reassemble in their three vans, two VWs and a Bedford Caravan, and cross San Francisco to the biggest party on the planet. Some will stay on in the city. Some will disappear. Marcus will join the occupants of the Bedford as they leave the new world a-borning to pursue their destinies to the east.
Unwittingly, he and three of the others in the Bedford are also joining the hunt for the solution to a mystery that began more than a century in the past, and may outlive them all.