The opening sequence shows a hitchhiker (Jim Morrison) emerging from a pond after a swim. He clambers up the hill and naps under the sun’s rays before recloaking himself in his brown shearling coat and embarking on a walk up the mountain’s rocky path. We then find him standing beside a dusty road attempting to signal passing cars. After none stop, he’s seen slowing ambling down the highway as a narration recalls his first experience of death after coming upon a car wreck as a child where bodies and bleeding Indians were scattered across the road. The aimless walk continues: he kicks at rocks, waves his coat at passing vehicles and traces lines in the sand with a long stick. In the next sequence the hitchhiker is seen exiting a car stuck in a bluff of sand. He throws a rock against the car’s hood, smashes and stomps at the windshield and roof as the sounds of metal clanging echoes across the desert. Finally, a driver stops and the hitchhiker slides in the front seat and they drive off through the desolate landscape. The car stops at the gas station and the camera pans across a display of magazines, focusing on the hitchhiker spinning a rotating stand of books. The camera cuts to a scene of the hitchhiker standing amongst parked cars on the side of the highway. Two figures are crouched nearby, watching the howls of an injured coyote. The animal’s wails continue as he drives away, occasionally taking a sip from a beer can and screaming devilishly as the car thunders ahead. Scenes are quilted together of dancing children, the car drifting on dirt roads and the hitchhiker examining a map at night, the worn paper illuminated by headlights. Later, the hitchhiker bums a cigarette as an attendant wipes the dust from his car’s windshield and fills the gas tank. As the desert gives way to the sprawl of the city, the hitchhiker’s car barrels forward, past graffitied walls, landfills and storefronts. Once stopped, images of the shadowed figure of the hitchhiker are shown and we can hear a phone call between him and American poet Michael McClure. During the phone call the whereabouts of the car’s original driver are discovered as the hitchhiker confesses to his murder with a tone of cold apathy. A somber piano melody plays in the background as the final shots unfold, first of the hitchhiker in what appears to be a hotel room, and later as he drifts around the crowds at The Whiskey A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.