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

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

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

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

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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