Thanks for your support with the business this year.  I have prepared more taxes this year than any other previous years.  Your referrals have been greatly appreciated!

Below is a previous newsletter that many have requested I post again. In our last newsletter, I promised to repost it, and here it is:

“Trail Names” On The Appalachian Trail

I truly appreciate all your comments on the Appalachian Trail stories.  For you who are new to the newsletter, I will fill you in a little bit.  During the summer of 1998 I took a sabbatical from work and hiked the Appalachian Trail, which winds two thousand miles across the tops of the Appalachian Mountains along the eastern United States.  Great fun which took about six months to complete.  During the last several months I have written little excerpts about the trip.  It seems from the comments I receive, that most of you enjoy this as much (OK, maybe more) than all the exciting tax news I provide.  So in the spirit of fun, the following is a little portion about the trail, and then I have to get back to the taxes.  Best to you!


Shelters on the Appalachian Trail are three sided structures that have a roof, but no doors or windows, just an open wall in front.  For the most part I avoided sleeping in them.  They were always full of mice.  Well, there was one shelter that had two pit vipers – yes they are poisonous – who lived in a hollow tree stump in front of the shelter.  That shelter didn’t have any mice in it.  The shelters were nice however when the weather really got nasty.  It’s just nice to carry dry gear that hasn’t been in the rain all night, so the shelters were nice for that.  Another neat thing about shelters is that they all have a “Trail Register” in them.  A trail register is left in each shelter and hikers can leave messages for other hikers, make a note for everyone, or leave thoughtful or humorous prose about their hike or life in general.  Thruhikers (hikers going the entire length of the Trail from Georgia to Maine) keep in contact with each other via the registers.  If you wanted to catch someone on the Trail, you could find them by reading their entries in the Trail Registers.  In that way the Trail seemed like a three-foot wide, two thousand mile long, neighborhood!   Of course to find someone, you would have to know their

“Trail Name”.  People on the Trail usually acquire a name along the way.  It usually revolves around some particular trait that they can identify you with.  I carried a fly rod the entire length of the Trail and fished often, and ended up with the moniker “Fishdance”. Some other names, just to toss out a few for your entertainment:  Treehugger, Conjo, Minnie Pearl (she had price tags hanging on her new equipment when she started).  Zig Zag, Shelter Monkey, Yogi and his brother BooBoo, Got Milk?, Old Faaart, SOL, Katiedid & Real Bill, Freeman, French Fry, GI Jane, Pablo & Alice in Wonderland, Half Calf, Frenchy  & GI Jane, Harmonica, Spirit of 48, Tapeworm, Pan, Puc, Howling Jed (the last four collectively went by the fantastic four), The Grim Reaper (whoever he hiked with ended up quitting the Trail), Goober and Michelle, Happy Feet (how can anyone hiking 2000 miles have happy feet?), Crispy, and the list goes on and on.   Most of the individuals listed hiked the whole Trail in ‘98 as I did, and I hiked a little with each of them.  Some I hiked with for a few hours, some for a few weeks.  All were great people and part of an excellent adventure.  Because there were no other forms of communication, it was common to keep in touch and leave messages for one another.  It was always uplifting to see a message left for me by someone I had met a week or even months earlier!  It was almost like seeing family if you bumped into someone down the Trail a month or two later.  If you ever hiked with someone for a few days, the friendship attained in those few days is closer than most friendships developed in the “big city” over many years.  The entries in the registers keep you close, even when you don’t see the author for months.  Another interesting thing about the registers is that by reading the entries of people ahead of you, if you ever catch them, you feel like you’ve known them for a long time.  It was always fun to “meet” someone after reading their entries for weeks or even months!  It’s kind of like this newsletter, after reading some of the chapters I’ve written, I’m sure you feel you at least partly know me, even though we may not have met yet.


Well, it’s back to the tax returns for me.  Have I mentioned that I was charged by a bear on the hike?  You gotta read next month’s bear story.  I might even show the scars some time (unlike the tick bite)J!


Best wishes,

Todd Whalen

Todd “Fishdance” Whalen, CPA, CTRS