I stayed at Ma Tar Awa campground on the Viejas reservation where I encountered the Shouting Declarative Command family. I was marveling at the quiet, being one of just a few campers, sitting in the shade of a sycamore tree, ahh. Then an SUV clambered in, parking 50 yards or so away, and out came tumbling Mom, teen son, pre-teen son, and young daughter.
Birdsong was replaced by their unusual staccato speech patterns. No one in the campground had to wonder what they were thinking, saying or doing. It was all out there for us to enjoy. I think I could count on one hand how many full sentences they spoke. They communicated almost purely in declarations or commands.
My favorite exchange was when mom was in the bathroom across from the campsite. The teen son shouted from the campsite picnic table:
“MOM! You hung up on me!”
Mom bellowed from the toilet “I couldn’t hear you!”
Son “You HUNG up on ME!”
Within seconds, pre-teen son started banging on the bathroom door: “MOM!”
Mom shouted a flurry of something or other back.
Preteen wailed “I JUST WANT A HUG!”
One minute it was harmonious chaos, the next an eruption of angry words, shortly followed by someone shouting “I LOVE YOU!” Then giggling and back to harmonious chaos.
From what I could tell none of them had a private inner thought bubble, it was all expressed. “I’m playing! I’m playing” “I’m eating!” “I’m going to the bathroom!” “Watch me!”
It was such a scene it was amusing and not irritating; I felt like Jane Goodall stumbling onto the set of Saturday Night Live.
You never know what you’re going to get at a campground. It keeps it interesting and fine-tunes your ability to find humor and ways to maintain your sanity and peace of mind.
The days journey in photos:
I met Chuck while I was setting up the sisters outside of Starbucks in Alpine, California. We struck up a conversation and Chuck graciously offered to go over the rest of the route in California and Arizona. We poured over the maps, and he shared with me his assessment of the different routes available.
The morning ride, leaving Ma Tar Awa campground. The mist from the coast made for a dramatic ride.
Looking back towards the campground in Viejas.
The morning started with a push up to Old Highway 80.