The Muskrat (part 2)


The mountains sound like you

This is the last post for the Soudbytes zine, issue 2, “The Mountains.”

My own response to the question ‘Search and Rescue in the Whites’ was too long for me to afford to print but it’s been published by Misadventures Magazine. Please give it a read!

Thank you everyone for contributing to the zine and get going on all those beautiful submissions for round 3! The next question is ‘how does home sound?’ As usual, any and all answers are welcomed! A submission guarantees you a copy of the next issue.

Send them to me at 2121 13th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55404 or It’s really best to keep the US Postal Service in business so snail mail is the way to go.

Lesson 1: expect the unexpected Lesson 2: just do it
Lesson 1: expect the unexpected
Lesson 2: just do it

The mountains sound like silence

The mountains sound like
Carabiners clinking on metal pots and zippers
Jolly rancher wrappers being scrunched into some tiny pocket
Metal cables creaking as the bear bag is pulled high into the air
Water rushing downhill over rocks
Leaves crunching underfoot
And occasional silence that makes the sounds and thoughts in your head become silent too.

Above is a poem submitted from Emma Koeppel, a Beloit College student, Wisconsinite, and native landscaper. The photo is of Mikayla Clarke, (sister, hiker and New Hampshire Native) on the Appalachian Trail during her thru-hike this spring/summer.

The mountains sound like the folks in them

My sister, Brightside, hiked on the AT from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Hanover, NH this year. This a photo she sent me of her friend Kiwi. In the shade of a box store in a trail town, this is one of many breaks from the trail where they restocked their food and supplies, and did the occasional laundry load.

Passing Through a Small Town
by David Shumate
Here the highways cross. One heads north. One heads east
and west. On the comer of the square adjacent to the
courthouse a bronze plaque marks the place where two Civil
War generals faced one another and the weaker surrendered.
A few pedestrians pass. A beauty parlor sign blinks. As I tum
to head west, I become the schoolteacher living above the
barber shop. Polishing my shoes each evening. Gazing at the
square below. In time I befriend the waitress at the cafe and
she winks as she pours my coffee. Soon people begin to
talk. And for good reason. I become so distracted I teach my
students that Cleopatra lost her head during the French
Revolution and that Leonardo perfected the railroad at the
height of the Renaissance. One day her former lover returns
from the army and creates a scene at the school. That evening
she confesses she cannot decide between us. But still we spend
one last night together. By the time I pass the grain elevators
on the edge of town I am myself again. The deep scars of love
already beginning to heal.

I’ll leave you with this Mountain Song from Danny Connolly & friends!

The Mountains Sound like….

Well folks, the 2nd issue of the Sound-Bites series is fresh off the press with 10 full pages of rugged mountain music. Luckily the morning was rainy as heck and staring at a computer screen for many hours seemed an appropriate surrealistic pool to fall in.

This zine includes submissions from contributers in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, and New Mexicoall answering the question, How do the mountains sound. The submissions range from funny, thoughful, and strange to downright mystical. 45 copies have been printed and distributed to the detriment of the Gilford Public Library’s paper and ink stocks and the health of their budget. My sister says I am now indebted to plant exactly two trees in return for my 250+ pages.

And if you’re still wondering what a zine is, it’s “an independently-run and rugged publication.” As I like to say, it’s a one-woman show, meaning I do most of the work and probably should hire an editor. Many people have asked about an online version of the zine. I am working on my design capacities for a real website, but for now I’ll be posting one submission every day here on the blog. Keep checking back for a full color and digitalized zine experience! This one’s from my great friend, Jill Banach, a hiker, photographer, and half marathon runner from Shrewsbury, MA.