Mud, mud everywhere

The last time I saw any real mud in Kazakhstan was back in early 1999, my last year with the US Peace Corps.  I was walking in Karatau just after all the snow melted knowing, from experience, that I needed to watch where I walk.  Mud was one of the biggest gripes of Peace Corps volunteers in Kazakhstan during their 2 years service.  It was an issue for me too since I had walked in a lot of it.

Well, oddly enough, I forgot about the mud.  Last year’s winter ran long into April.  I had not taken that particular trail until it was dry but my colleagues had warned about the mud.  They always took detours.  I did not heed their warnings and yesterday I walked right into the mud with the wrong shoes.  Yes, I wore shoes and not boots like I normally would wear in winter.

I was a bit surprised since it froze overnight but the entire trail was covered with slippery mud.  If I had boots, it would have been easier to walk in.  I should have just walked a bit to the next street and walked home but no, I let my former Marine-ego get in the way.  Didn’t I walk in a lot of mud as a Marine.  This short path was not going to stop me.  It didn’t.

Muddy trail in Almaty, Kazakhstan

I was surprised at how slippery it was.  I looked for grassy weed areas to walk on.  There was only me and this other guy walking the trail.  I am sure he regretted his mistake as well.

Muddy trail past my school

At one point I was walking in the dry creek bed which was less slippery.

Another view of the muddy trail

Below was one of my last steps.  Fortunately these shoes were a bit waterproof but it did take me a while to clean them.

My poor shoes are now muddy

No more walking on mud trails for me.   In about a month, this trail will be dried out and look quite different.

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