Oh My ..

It happens ..

Suddenly .. For absolutely no apparent reason (at least it is not apparent to me, the recipient of the song now inside of my head) some songs suddenly visit me.

Yesterday Nancy Sinatra suddenly showed up singing ..

‘You Only Live Twice’.

The lyrics? I thought you’d never ask ..

You only live twice, or so it seems
One life for yourself, and one for your dreams.

You drift through the years and life seems tame
Till one dream appears and love is its name.

And love is a stranger who’ll beckon you on
Don’t think of the danger or the stranger is gone.

This dream is for you, so pay the price
Make one dream come true, you only live twice.

Love  affair Nancy?

Don’t think of the danger or the stranger is gone.

I am loving Irkutsk. I am loving being in Russia. For three years, dating back to late summer / early autumn of 2015, I have been looking forward to getting here. So last Monday I came here predetermined to enjoy it and to want to stay awhile.

I am enjoying it. I want to stay quite awhile.

Danger  Nancy?

You had better believe that  I am facing danger in this love affair.

Just coming here involved danger didn’t it?

The airline flight. I hope the mechanics that worked on this puppy have their Masters and / or PhD Degrees in aircraft mechanics and maintenance.


I just got into an automobile, with two men that I did not know, and we began a journey-into-the-wild. In their automobile, we drove a full 2+ hours out of Irkutsk into the adjoining countryside, on roads that would match (or far exceed) in danger the final 80-miles that I drive on when I drive from the Alaska Haul Road into Manley Hot Springs, Alaska.

You want some ‘remoteness’. We had it.

I hoped like the proverbial-hell my driver was skilled and cautious and that his automobile was in tip-top shape. In the final analysis, he and his auto were more than I ever could have expected them to be.

A short, off the shoulder of the road, rest-stop. I didn’t really want any car-trouble out here. The return 2+ hour trip was in the dark-of-night with it snowing. Some danger?  You got it Toyota!

Ah .. Not too much out here.

Where was I and where was I going .. Got it .. Love and Danger   ..

At some point-in-time, this insatiable wanderlust of mine may cease.

At age 16-years, I began hitch-hiking to various places within the U.S.  My first hitch-hiking trip was from Detroit, Michigan to the Cleveland, Ohio area and then home again to Michigan.

After graduating from High School in June of 1954, a buddy and I hitch-hiked from Detroit, Michigan, to New York City and then all over the East (details of which have long ago escaped me).

And, at some-point-in-time, the wanderlust may remain, but physically and emotionally, I simply may no longer be able to do what I do.

Sports Fans ..


From March 24th 2018 until well into August 2018, there was no way that I felt physically and emotionally able to saddle-up and hit-the-road.

I chuckle to myself at those of you reading these words who may be thinking ..

“No big deal Captain.”

Really ? REALLY ?

Then why are you there (wherever you are) and I am here?

Will the Perfect Storm (the end of my traveling days) occur here in Irkutsk? In Ulaanbaatar? In Hong Kong? In Anchorage? In Arizona? In New Mexico? In Nevada?

I haven’t (to coin a phrase I like) A Clue In A Carload.


OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) isn’t all bad. I now have forty (40) litres of water in my water stash.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the bottles on the left above.

БАЙКАЛ  on the below label spells BAIKAL.

Sorry but I don’t have the upside down letter V that is the same as the cyrillic letter Л which sounds as L.

Just got it .. БАЙКАΛ

I wonder how many of you have seen Lake Baikal?

Did you say Lake Baikal?

I wonder how many of you have even heard of Lake Baikal?

I sure know that I hadn’t seen, nor had I even heard of Lake Baikal until I went to Ulan Ude, Russia, in early August of 2017.

Then, when I became more-or-less aware of Lake Beikal, I hadn’t A Clue In A Carload about why it is arguably one of the most famous lakes in all-of-the-world.

Below is one of several (or many) villages that front Lake Baikal.

In English, the Village Limit Sign says, Bol’shoye Goloustnoye.


“It would take more than a pack of wild horses even a dragon to keep you from me!”

“Look you guys. I said wild horses I didn’t say cows.”



A lake the size of an ocean.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Above is what I got.  The wind was so severe it nearly blew me down.

The sign, I was told, says don’t go in the lake, it is dangerous.


The below Russian Orthodox Church fascinated me. But, then again, I have never yet met a non-fascinating Russian Orthodox Church anywhere.


And then, after the above visit to Lake Baikal, I sat with a group of twenty (20) young adults, in a Rehabilition Center, and for 1-1/2 hours shared with them what has so freely been given to me.

I was very happy that, in the dark, with it snowing, I did not have to drive our car for 2+ hours back to Irkutsk. You want some danger. That was a dangerous  trip home.

“What I did for love.”

“Eydie and Steve, I don’t need you and that song in my head.”

Thanks for walking with me down the streets of my mind.



Trust me on this : I slept like-the-dead by the time I collapsed into bed.

2 thoughts on “NOV 1, 18 .. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

  1. Patti Boone

    Great to see Lake Baikal. I first heard of Lake Baikal when niece Eryn and her Grandmother visited there from Alaska, likely in the mid 90’s. It is not only large, but also very deep from what I understand. Sounds like you had two very nice young men taking good care of you on this trip! Yum!! Your Russia experience grows sweeter … Love, Patti

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      What a four+ days to date these past days have been here in Irkutsk My Dear One. I never dreamt we would visit the shores of Lake Baikal as part of going up to the rehab center. The wind was absolutely some of the stongest I’ve ever experienced. At 32F, with the wind howling, it was more than a tad on the chilly side. Happy you liked the Post. Love .. Cap

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