To Whom It May Concern:

April 15th .. Happy Federal Income Tax Deadline Day in the U.S.

All this week a debate has been conducted within the membership as to whether or not to ‘take-a-meeting’ into Shariin Gol a remote mining camp North of Ulaanbaatar and to the Southeast of Darkhan located 45 kilometers (28-miles) away from the main North-South highway on a relatively undeveloped and possibly challenging mining road.

“Yes we are going Cap.” .. “No we are NOT going.” .. This second pronouncement was made with such ‘finality’ that I completely abandoned my own mental plans and preparation to make the trip. I had given three (Mon / Tues / Thur), 2-hour talks, in four days and not going was just fine with me. Last night came the call .. “Yes we are going. We will pick you up at 7am tomorrow morning.”

I did not sleep well last night. I was exhausted from the week in general. In case none of you have noticed I have published a Post or two or three of some length and complexity just this week. I keep thinking to myself that I must be getting old. I am finding that 2-hour talks are tiring. I was tired enough that I did no packing whatsoever as I went to bed.

My Sleep Apnea (mine is a BiPAP not a CPAP) machine .. after over 8-1/2 years and almost 18,000 hours of work .. faded into the sunset this week. It flashed me a message (an exclamation mark inside of a triangle) ‘Service Required’ and ..

“Well that is that said Baba Fats sitting back down upon his stone ..” THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT HIGH .. SHEL SILVERSTEIN ..

You either have Sleep Apnea or you don’t. An Apnea is when you STOP breathing for over 10-seconds as you sleep. In my case I did so 138 times (one hundred and thirty eight got it?) a night in April of 2007 when I was so diagnosed. You either need a CPAP / BiPAP or you don’t. Sports fans when you stop breathing for over 10-seconds (an apnea can be up to 30-seconds or even longer in duration) it is hard on your heart to continually be stopping and starting. This .. my heart issues in 2007 .. is what took me into the hospital for three days and two nights in May 2007. As he left my hospital room after three days of testing the Doctor turned back to Patti and I and said .. ” There is nothing wrong with your heart Cap.” .. “Patti does he snore?” ..”Oh yes.”

Life is a crap shoot. You win and you lose. I lucked out. I got an exceptional Doctor and Physicians Assistant after I was admitted from the Emergency Room.


“I want you to take a sleep study test Cap.”

Without my BiPAP I am NOT sleeping well at all. Then I was off-and-on awake all night thinking .. “I can’t oversleep .. what time is it?”

Up at 5am to pack and get ready. I did NOT look out the window. It was DARK anyway.

“So out and off went Gimme Some Roy to the land that knows no time ..” THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT HIGH .. SHEL SILVERSTEIN ..

When I got downstairs I opened the door and closed it. It was drizzling and snowing and windy and to-the-bone chilly. I waited inside until Changer phoned me .. “Cap are you there?” .. “I’m inside the door I’ll be right out.”

“O h   G o o d   G r i e f !” said Charlie Brown to Snoopy ..

“Oh Good Grief!” say all of you to yourselves .. Just what we don’t need to see .. Photos of a bad day at Black Rock ..

A little wet .. some snow .. not all that bad! ..We MONGOLIANs can do this Changer quipped to me .. “Just like Alaska Cap?” .. I did NOT have the heart to say .. “No they are setting all-time winter records for sunshine and warmth in Alaska.”DSCN8864[1]

We are driving .. this is important .. NORTH .. on Peace Avenue ..

Changer was on-the-phone with the other two cars in our caravan.

“It is getting worse as we are heading North. We need to stop and talk this over.”

My Main Man .. My friend .. My translator .. Changer ..DSCN8872[1]


“Come on in! It’s time for Tribal Council!” .. JEFF PROBST .. ‘SURVIVOR’ 

Evidently the ‘ladies in the group won’. We drove a little more. Not much more .. maybe a few kilometers ..

“Time to Huddle-Up again gang!” .. My Main Man Changer on the left is talking sense to two of the ladies ..
DSCN8886[1]The ladies were getting chilled out in the weather huddling up together for warmth ..

Back South to Ulaanbaatar we all motored.DSCN8889[1]

I am now going to tell all of you what REALLY won the do-we-continue do-we-go-home debate.

In the final analysis it was NOT about he said / she said at all.

In the map below the topmost balloon points to Russian Siberia. The left balloon points to Erdenet Mongolia. We are the right balloon at the bottom about one hour North of Ulaanbaatar.

A group from Erdenet (left balloon) was planning to join us. The plan was for them to stay-put in Erdenet and NOT move until we advised them of our weather conditions.

Changer called Erdenet and it went like this :

“The weather is getting progressively worse as we are heading North.”

“Here in Erdenet the authorities have closed the roads leading out of town. We can NOT join you. The weather is bad up North here in Erdenet.”

THAT coupled with the risky condition of the undeveloped mining road into Shariin Gol made the trip unsafe and impossible today. And this BIG IF.  IF we got into Shariin Gol with the weather getting progressively worse there would be a possibility we could NOT get back out today.

Do all of you see the small horse on the roof of the car in front of us? Horses are so important to the Mongolian people.DSCN8894[1]

Traffic in Ulaanbaatar bordered on being impossible.

Can I ask you who are interested to do me a favor. In the below photo notice the white car in front of us.

Zero in on the license plate above and below if you will ..

95 28  У Б Н ..

This license plate looks oh-so-very-familiar to me. I wonder where and when and why?DSCN8899[1]

Back on the 16th of July 2015 I met Oldokh my very first male Mongolian friend at the Ulaanbaatar Airport. I will get to ‘Deegi’ on the right later.DSCN3419[1]

Oldokh drove Mark and myself around some of the Ulaanbaatar ‘outback’ the evening of July 16th and all day July 17th before our 2-day conference began on July the 18th. DSCN3517[1]

So we got-to-know Oldokh as much as one can when you can NOT speak so much as one single understandable word between the two of you.

I wonder why .. on Friday July the 17th .. I took a photo of Oldokh’s car and particularly a photo of his license plate.DSCN3528[1]

I don’t know. I haven’t a clue. I did so because the ‘spirit-moved-me’ to snap these photos? Maybe?

Could it be? That my interest in Oldokh’s license plate was the earliest beginning of my interest in the Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet?

On Oldokh’s license plate we have an У (ooh) we have a Б (B) and we have an Н (N) ..DSCN3591[1]

Let me tell all of you! I am ‘connected’ here in Mongolia. Oldokh and I are solid friends and still neither of us can speak a word to the other. Oh By The Way .. what do you notice in the above two photos and in the below photo?  That is my friend Oldokh ahead of us and with us on the trip North.DSCN8899[1]

Oldokh My Man I have GOT to snap a photo of that shirt!DSCN8904[1]Once .. last Septemer .. I wrote that I could NOT get Oldokh to smile. Slowly he began to ‘melt’ just a tad.

Trust in me gained over 9-months has changed that. Look at him now. I am so deeply touched by my Mongolian Brothers. Did I say Brothers? My Mongolian sons. To more than a few I could be their grandfather.DSCN8906[1]

“Am I blessed? Am I truly blessed! Oh yes!”DSCN8516[1]

Back home again to MY place. Literally back home to MY place. MY building is in the distance. MY apartment is straight ahead and third down and to the right of the recessed section of the building. DSCN8903[1]
DSCN8907[1]Little ice skating rink is thinking .. Has winter returned?  Did I completely miss Spring / Summer / Autumn?DSCN8908[1]


We all trooped into the very end of a meeting in MY home neighborhood.


Deegi was there. Wrapping up the meeting. Deegi said to me ..

“Do you want to come to a meeting with two of us in Erdenet next Monday? We’ll be home Tuesday?” ..

“I will be at a medical equipment convention all weekend. Bring me your BiPAP now ASAP and I will see if I can find out if they are imported into Mongolia and if so get all the details.”

A nice little walk in the snow to Deegi’s office. So we’ll see what she can find out.DSCN8919[1]Back in my apartment .. Safe and sound.

You believe .. You really believe ..

– OR –

You don’t believe .. You don’t believe no matter the information set before you ..

And Me? .. I choose to believe ..

Either way .. “Something IS happening here and what it is sometimes is not very clear.”

Smiling .. Oh yes .. Smiling ..

Cap .. or is it .. Captain  XAAHБAATAP ( KANBAATAR )DSCN3554[1]

Oh! I finally lay down and slept for two hours from about 2pm to 4pm. I got up .. fussed around and could NOT .. I just could NOT focus on anything! So? I lay back down at 4:30pm and slept until almost 8:30pm. I was seriously beyond being merely tired-out. Exhausted would be a better adjective.

2 thoughts on “APR 15, 16 .. AN APRIL 15th ‘ROAD TRIP’ TO CARRY THE MESSAGE

  1. Patti

    Looks like Russia’s Siberia was blowing what is left of winter down Mongolia’s way. Glad you did not get caught in the mining town … or on the ‘cross country’ trek into or out of the small mining town. I KNOW what that wide open country looks like and how remote it is. Those maps you include are SO helpful! Hugs and smiles, Patti

    1. cap chastain

      Yes! Taa-Daa! Sound-the-trumpets for Andrej and for his amazing maps! Let’s also sound-the-trumpets for Andrej and for all the work he does here on Dot.NET especially with the cataloging of the photos!

      Is it ever remote here in the Mongolian outback! To get caught up there would be life-threatening. It is no accident we had three automobiles in our small caravan. All of us could have gotten into two autos had the necessity to do so arisen.

      Thanks for your assistance and support .. Love Cap ..

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