Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Party at the snakes' place

Rock in a rocky and snaky place

Birdy Bardot stole the night with psychedelic soul tunes.
Birdy Bardot stole the night with psychedelic soul tunes.

"We got any locals here?” one of the Widows asks to scattered whoops of recognition. “Thank you for coming out from under your rock.”

Over 525 showed up for the fourth annual In-Ko-Pah High Jinks on the outskirts of Jacumba.

Two hits on a snare drum and a brass crash. The joke is that nobody is from here, because we are on the edge of nowhere, but, sure as snake’s teeth, the right kind of folks will settle just about anywhere, and that includes the boulder-strewn peaks and cactus-studded gullies surrounding In-Ko-Pah’s Desert View Tower. Joining them for the fourth year now are 526 outsiders converging over two stages and 14 bands playing from early afternoon ’til bar close. Except there is no bar, just the Anza-Borrego Desert fracturing into infinity 3000 feet below and a 90-year-old roadside attraction built on a highway that was abandoned for an interstate decades ago. Regardless, motorists still wend their way off the 8 and down a dead-end stretch of Old Highway 80 to climb the historic monument (all “65 easy steps”), buy trinkets from the gift shop, and maybe meet a local or two.

Desert View Tower owner Ben Schultz wrangles a speckled rattler by the dance floor.

Today, we are greeted by several locals, including a girthy rattler that, a few bands later, comes out from under his rock to go for a spin by the dance floor. Tower owner Ben Schultz appears with a snake snare and a five-gallon bucket to wrangle the buzzing menace as out-of-towners snap photos. The Strawberry Moons have just finished a haunted doo-wop rendition of “White Rabbit” with guest guitarist Pat Beers of the Schizophonics, and the mood is borderline enchanted.

Ake Arndt of analog projection outfit Operation: Mindblow illuminates the bands and boulders.

Ben later presents my girlfriend with a pouch of “rattlesnake eggs” from the gift shop that shake violently when you open the flap, betraying a rascally glee fit for the cover of an Archie McPhee catalog. He’s got the snake in a bucket by the entrance and springs the gimmick on visitors as they arrive, disclaiming, “Sorry, us old folks are terribly jealous of you young people,” as he demonstrates the prank’s washer-and-rubber-band mechanism.

Someone plays Erik Satie’s “Jazzopédie” on the Tower’s piano while the Mattson 2 weave jam and jazz tapestries outside on a rounded makeshift stage. Cameron, who lives down the interstate in Boulevard and tends to the gift shop on Fridays, has caught plenty of snakes on his property: “You don’t see the speckled rattlers that often. Mostly it’s diamondbacks around here, a few reds, a few sidewinders. Rattlesnakes overall are pretty docile.”

So, too, is the crowd. The average age hovers between 4 and 40 years old. Most of the adults are drinking, yet none appear drunk. It’s all pretty docile as the sun sets over the outback “High Jinks” that has been dubbed over the years — either out of endearment or endurance — Wind-Ko-Pah. But the fest goes frenzied when Phoenix punk-and-horns sextet Playboy Manbaby howls “You Can Be a Fascist, Too” and later, Birdy Bardot and her backing band from the Redwoods collective spill smoky psychedelic soul tunes looking cool and enraptured and belonging here among the moonlit granite.

Archons end the night with cranked-up doom metal. The five-string bassist wears a shirt reading: “Sleep,” which many have already resorted to while the rest remain on tailgates and tired feet, gyrating to meatgrinder guitar and caveman drums. A few beers and breezy conversations later, I collapse into my tent. A light wind stirs between chollas spines and tent fabric, and for a moment I’m reminded of the snake on the dance floor, who, for better or worse, just had to come out from under his rock.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Paw-Micon, Binge

Events July 7-July 8, 2020
Birdy Bardot stole the night with psychedelic soul tunes.
Birdy Bardot stole the night with psychedelic soul tunes.

"We got any locals here?” one of the Widows asks to scattered whoops of recognition. “Thank you for coming out from under your rock.”

Over 525 showed up for the fourth annual In-Ko-Pah High Jinks on the outskirts of Jacumba.

Two hits on a snare drum and a brass crash. The joke is that nobody is from here, because we are on the edge of nowhere, but, sure as snake’s teeth, the right kind of folks will settle just about anywhere, and that includes the boulder-strewn peaks and cactus-studded gullies surrounding In-Ko-Pah’s Desert View Tower. Joining them for the fourth year now are 526 outsiders converging over two stages and 14 bands playing from early afternoon ’til bar close. Except there is no bar, just the Anza-Borrego Desert fracturing into infinity 3000 feet below and a 90-year-old roadside attraction built on a highway that was abandoned for an interstate decades ago. Regardless, motorists still wend their way off the 8 and down a dead-end stretch of Old Highway 80 to climb the historic monument (all “65 easy steps”), buy trinkets from the gift shop, and maybe meet a local or two.

Desert View Tower owner Ben Schultz wrangles a speckled rattler by the dance floor.

Today, we are greeted by several locals, including a girthy rattler that, a few bands later, comes out from under his rock to go for a spin by the dance floor. Tower owner Ben Schultz appears with a snake snare and a five-gallon bucket to wrangle the buzzing menace as out-of-towners snap photos. The Strawberry Moons have just finished a haunted doo-wop rendition of “White Rabbit” with guest guitarist Pat Beers of the Schizophonics, and the mood is borderline enchanted.

Ake Arndt of analog projection outfit Operation: Mindblow illuminates the bands and boulders.

Ben later presents my girlfriend with a pouch of “rattlesnake eggs” from the gift shop that shake violently when you open the flap, betraying a rascally glee fit for the cover of an Archie McPhee catalog. He’s got the snake in a bucket by the entrance and springs the gimmick on visitors as they arrive, disclaiming, “Sorry, us old folks are terribly jealous of you young people,” as he demonstrates the prank’s washer-and-rubber-band mechanism.

Someone plays Erik Satie’s “Jazzopédie” on the Tower’s piano while the Mattson 2 weave jam and jazz tapestries outside on a rounded makeshift stage. Cameron, who lives down the interstate in Boulevard and tends to the gift shop on Fridays, has caught plenty of snakes on his property: “You don’t see the speckled rattlers that often. Mostly it’s diamondbacks around here, a few reds, a few sidewinders. Rattlesnakes overall are pretty docile.”

So, too, is the crowd. The average age hovers between 4 and 40 years old. Most of the adults are drinking, yet none appear drunk. It’s all pretty docile as the sun sets over the outback “High Jinks” that has been dubbed over the years — either out of endearment or endurance — Wind-Ko-Pah. But the fest goes frenzied when Phoenix punk-and-horns sextet Playboy Manbaby howls “You Can Be a Fascist, Too” and later, Birdy Bardot and her backing band from the Redwoods collective spill smoky psychedelic soul tunes looking cool and enraptured and belonging here among the moonlit granite.

Archons end the night with cranked-up doom metal. The five-string bassist wears a shirt reading: “Sleep,” which many have already resorted to while the rest remain on tailgates and tired feet, gyrating to meatgrinder guitar and caveman drums. A few beers and breezy conversations later, I collapse into my tent. A light wind stirs between chollas spines and tent fabric, and for a moment I’m reminded of the snake on the dance floor, who, for better or worse, just had to come out from under his rock.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Statues stored for sake of safety (and sanity)

Monu-mental
Next Article

Southeast Locals – a well-educated, violent San Diego gang

Psychiatrist goes bad, Chula Vista crime lab, San Diegans on death row, computer hacker's thinking, darkness in Sabre Springs
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close