Now I know why this place is called “Iraq.” It’s because a rock is more than likely what is under every step you take while you’re deployed.
Essentially every parking lot and every living area is covered by gravel. It’s your basic, everyday, gravel-driveway rocks. I didn’t think they would be such a problem until I arrived. The thin layer of rocks I was expecting is actually pretty thick.
I’ve rolled my ankle a few times, and walking is very difficult. It’s like walking on the beach in very loose sand. You get your foot down, but you don’t have good traction to keep going at a good pace.
There are a few sidewalks around here, and most streets are paved. I use the word “streets” loosely, though. Most streets are also expected to be pothole free and wide enough for two cars to pass each other. Alas, this is not the case.
Back to the gravel… the powers that be do try to make the gravel situation manageable, though. There are trucks that regularly water the rocks to keep the dust from kicking up. They also use what could best be described as a steamroller to compact some of the deeper piles of rocks.
Still, getting through this deployment without serious ankle injury or muscle strain is “rocky” at best. Sorry, I had to go there.
And now, for your enjoyment… a short clip of “The Monkees” from whom this blog entry is inspired.