How Hippie Couples’ Paradise Spiraled Into All-Out War

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

Six years ago, when Michael and Rachel McKerracher first moved with Jacob and Callandra Neustater onto an idyllic swath of riverside property along British Columbia’s Cottonwood River, it was pretty hard to imagine where the freewheeling anarchists might wind up—with five children, haplessly representing themselves in a public and protracted legal feud in the Supreme Court of British Columbia over chicken carcasses, junked cars and defamatory posters plastered about the nearby hamlet of Quesnel.

This outcome was especially hard to imagine because the McKerrachers and the Neustaters had once shared everything, including a hatred of the way most people lived, of cops, of the system. But these two couples who’d spent much of their lives escaping “the grid” found themselves crashing right into it—courts and lawyers and judges, while losing most of everything they’d ever owned.

Rachel Murrin was a hobo, an itinerant hitchhiker and train hopper, fleeing conformity in the Toronto suburbs for the muck of Canada’s wildlands, hunkering through brutal winters in one communal household or another, then back on the road each spring. When she met Mike McKerracher, Rachel was wearing a train conductor hat and living with 15 people in the six rooms of an old punk house in Guelph, Ontario. They played music in the basement, luring nearby revelers to shows down there, earning just enough money to cover the electricity bill. Always just enough to survive.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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