I like using my crock pot on occasion. When at a truck stop I saw a 12VDC crock pot. What the heck. Yesterday I decide to test it out and make chili. 1lb, chopped meat, can of pinto beans, can diced tomatoes, red wine and chili mix . I plugged the crock pot into my Arkpak . Set and forget.
After six hours the temp was 170F and and the battery was at 11.9 volts and 50%. At that point, I plugged in the battery. At the 8 hour mark the temp was just over 200F and ready to eat.
I stirred the chili three times during the cooking process. I also did the test in my garage so the air temp was in the 50’s. I could have done the same thing on my pressure cooker in 20 minutes. I can see using the crock pot in a base-camp situation when one would want to dig in to something after a day exploring.
Toyota Trails magazine has a “Trail Rigs” section in each edition. I sent in a write up and some photos and was selected to be published.
This past Sunday, a small group of us went to Alamo MTN.
The weather was perfect for such a trip. On the way out, we stopped to find a Geocache. For most of our group, this was their first experience with this activity. Lucky this cache was an easy one; we found it and logged it.
A pickup drove by and stopped to chat. The driver was the Ranch Manager of one of the ranches. The ranch he managed consisted of 230 sections; 230 square miles. We chatted about the wildlife and listening to this gentleman speak about living out there made me envious.
At the cattle guard, before the parking lot, we met John and Camille. They were out with their new Cricket camper. They were gracious enough to show us the camper features and mentioned that there were more art on the back side of the mountain. I told John about the trip we make and hopefully they will join us on one of our trips.
No trip to the mountain is the same and this time was no different. As we started to make out way up the hill, I had my GPS set to take me to the closest panel. As I was picking my route through the rocks and cactus I was keeping a general bearing towards the panel but scanning the area with my binoculars. I saw a rock with art and checked my GPS and did not see any previously marked panels close by.
This was the start of finding 27 new panels.
All these panels were west and lower on the hill than all the previously discovered panels. The first one was covered with snakes, a frog , cross, bear claws and other symbols. Next up was another rock with several symbols most notably a man in a box. The next rock was dominated with a large cross.
Pam’s sharp eye revealed some pottery shards on the ground. The small pieces still had the color that was applied to the pottery. Nicole’s Geologists eye spotted numerous pieces of chert that had been worked and chipped.
We spotted a hole in the ground and speculated what lived in there. I took a peak into the hole, from afar and spotted a badger looking right back at me. This was the first time I saw a badger in real life.
Once again Alamo MTN did not disappoint.
I’d thought I’d share some pictures of the many Land Cruisers and Land Rovers I’ve spotted while in Afghanistan. The trucks with all the antennas on the roof have ECM – Electronic Countermeasures. The Arctic Truck belonged to the Lithuanian Special Forces. It was fully armoured. Please feel free to ask any questions on the comment page. Mike
Having been in Herat for several months and with the end of my tour on the horizon, I knew I wanted to visit the Jihad Museum. I had previously invited my friend Colonel Mohammed of the Counter Narcotics Police Afghanistan (CNP-A) to my camp for lunch and introduce him to the Narcotics Interdiction Unit Commander.
After lunch, we went into town to visit the Citadel (already posted on this blog). From there, we went to the Jihad Museum. Once again off we went with me as the only infidel, yet I felt completely comfortable with the Afghans. Looking Afghan helped but my M4 gave me away, not to mention the large security detail for the Colonel and the detail for the NIU commander and me.
When we arrived at the museum it was closed. Having a powerful Colonel helped to open the doors and get a private guided tour for us. I know the Afghans in our group were as excited to visit the museum as I was. They had never seen it before, even the guys from Herat. A former Mujahedeen fighter served as our tour guide. He explained the many battles with the Soviets as well as the weapons displays.
Fascinating parts of the museum were the dioramas. As the local population is mostly illiterate, written descriptions would be useless. So the museum utilizes many different lifelike dioramas depicting major battles to relate the history. Our Guide explained the battles to us in great detail. This museum is certainly a world class war museum. (Links below)
A bonus highlight of the visit was meeting the infamous Bakhretdin Khakimov, now known as Sheik Abdullah. Khakimov first came to Afghanistan as a Soviet intelligence officer and his mission was to kill the mujahedeen. He was wounded in battle, went missing, and ultimately was nursed back to health by an Afghan family. After recovering, he decided to remain in Afghanistan and converted to Islam. Abdullah now works at the museum. (See links below.)
NIU CMD,COL. Faruk, COL Mohammad with me on the first floor of the museum.
With my two translators. They are brothers and really great guys who helped keep me safe.
A former Mujahedeen fighter served as our tour guide.
The NIU Commander with me.
Bakhretdin Khakimov, now known as Sheik Abdullah with me.
This Mujahedeen fighter served as our tour guide
The NIU CMD and me. We had to wear booties over our boots to protect the marble floor.
Captured Soviet PPSh submachine guns.
Captured Soviet weapons.
Old British weapons. SMLE Enfield rifles are still found on the battlefield.
Rolling Block rifles used the fight against Communism.
Other rifles used by the Mujahedeen against the much better armed Soviets.