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.
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.
At one point I was walking in the dry creek bed which was less slippery.
Below was one of my last steps. Fortunately these shoes were a bit waterproof but it did take me a while to clean them.
No more walking on mud trails for me. In about a month, this trail will be dried out and look quite different.