Colorado Guy

The Year 2013 - My Personal Review Page

Nobody said it would be easy ...
2013 was a year of hardship and disappointment. I tried so hard, with determination to get "unstuck" over things from 2012, but often it felt like my best wasn't good enough. I don't share this to seek pity; I'm just being honest. Looking back, I already see how I've grown through various kinds of suffering. Maybe that's a silver lining.

There were good times, too. In fact, I have much to be grateful for. I enjoyed traveling to Arkansas and Atlanta, Utah many times, the Colorado eastern slope and even Idaho. I also had great hikes and bike rides, and as always, I made many photo galleries. Ultimately, I'm so happy that I moved back to Chaffee County in late October. :)


The "photo of the year" is this one, as I stood at Cascade Falls in September. Sweet memories!

Photos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Rabbit's Ear Mesa
A nifty photo from Rabbit's Ear Mesa near the Utah border. It is pretty country out there.

Fruita and Grand Junction

I think I will look back at my 13 months in Fruita and Grand Junction as a "small blip" in my life. While there were some good times, in general I was unhappy. Still, I made the most of things. Just look at my index pages dedicated to Grand Junction, Colorado National Monument and the Western Slope to see all the stuff I did. I also had a daily photo journal: www.fruita-colorado.com.

I want to acknowledge the following in the Grand Valley for being a blessing in my life: Dwight Fowler, Terri Wassmer, the Fruita Fitness Club (particularly the spin class gang), my hairdresser Wanda, my chiropractor Theo, and my physical therapist Emily.

Mount Princeton

Narrow Gauge Trail

The Big Move Back to Buena Vista

In September and October, my exit from Fruita all came together. I was renting part of a house from a cranky old lady who gave me much motivation to move. Also, a visit to Buena Vista stirred my heart and got me thinking and praying about returning. Then, when I captured a part-time job in Salida, that sealed the deal.

I feel more loved in Chaffee County. I'm happier. I figure that if I have to do life, with all its trials and difficulties, then I'd rather do it in the mountains.

TOP: The current view of Mount Princeton from my bedroom window.

SECOND: My first hike after my return was on the Narrow Gauge Trail in Chalk Creek Canyon.

Salida Christian Counseling

Counseling

More than ever, I "dove in" with doing private counseling work. In Grand Junction, I worked with a clinic and had a solo practice.

When I returned to Chaffee County, I launched Salida Christian Counseling. I'm so hopeful about the long-term prospects of this new business.

Laptop and Coffee

The Memoir

For years, I have been working on a memoir about my first bike-across-USA tour in 2008. This was the year that this project broke me. I haven't quit, but there's an element of "I give up until further notice."

In the summer, I worked hard at editing a final draft of the first twelve chapters of this 18 chapter book. However, in September, as things got stressful with (lack of) work, finances and where-to-live, the manuscript got pushed to the side. Realistically, to self-publish I will need a few thousand dollars to pay a proofreader, design a book cover, pay for layout, and pay for other self-publishing expenses I'm not even aware of yet. I also need to be more financially and emotionally stable. Once my basic needs are met (and I have extra loot), then I'll be in a better position to finish this thing.

Utah Images
A collage of my Utah images. So beautiful! :)

Utah

I did visit southern Utah many times. :)

Some of my better hikes and photos:
  • Little Wild Horse Canyon
  • Partition Arch
  • Wilson Arch
  • Fisher Towers
  • Pictographs in Sego Canyon
  • Goblin Valley State Park
  • Glenwood Canyon Bicycle Trail

    Colorado Western Slope

    Don't feel bad for me. I did hike and bike in many scenic areas of western Colorado. :)
  • Ouray Perimeter Trail
  • Bike Dallas Divide
  • Gateway Auto Museum
  • Glenwood Canyon Bicycle Trail
  • Bike McClure Pass
  • Miracle Rock
  • Steve and Ray
    Beer with Raymond in Fayetteville


    Standing under Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park

    Arkansas / Atlanta trip

    In May, a road trip was in order. I needed to pick up my bicycle that had sat in Georgia since my 2011 bike across USA trip. I also needed to keep my word about having a party in Atlanta for my fantasy football team, the 2012 world champion Garbage Cans. And, since I was driving, I spent five days in Arkansas to have a *HEE HAW* of a time with friends! (It's an Arkansas thing. Most of you won't understand.)

    Enjoy my full write-up with photos here: Arkansas Visit in 2013.

    I bagged Cheaha Mountain, the Alabama high point. :)

    Screech Lights

    Lower Back

    I endured more lower back pain from January thru March, and October and November.

    The good news is I've learned strategies to overcome it, namely stretching my hamstrings and hip flexor muscles. The key is to avoid sitting for long periods of time, and doing plenty of exercising and stretching.

    Bike Across USA Route
    My proposed route across the southern USA

    Bike Across USA 2014

    Will I bike across the USA in 2014? That remains to be seen. Sparing details, someone made me an offer in 2013 that fell through. Now there's another opportunity on the table. If I go, it will be in the February-March-April timeframe.

    My website about the trip is already up: www.bicycletrip.net. I am promoting three charities. I am also seeking donations for myself.

    2013 Fantasy Football Championship

    Garbage Cans

    It was another banner year for my 16-team fantasy football league. The 7-6 Garbage Cans squeaked into the playoffs with the last wildcard slot, the #6 seed. I advanced in the first round, then won in the semifinals in miraculous fashion.

    The adjacent photo shows the championship game, where I lost to Titletown by less than a point. It was the second year in a row that Terrill and I faced each other in the finals.

    Also, the draft order ceremony with Phil at Mount Evans was fun. :)

    Survive and Advance

    I love watching ESPN documentaries. The ones for Bo Jackson, Marcus Dupree, the USFL, SMU ("Pony Excess") and "Catching Hell" were excellent.

    However, the very best story is "Survive and Advance," the story of the 1983 championship of North Carolina State. The documentary is so gripping and touching that I've watched it over and over ... perhaps 25 times. Oh yes, I remember being a kid and cheering for N.C. State in the championship game, but this is much more than a trip down memory lane. It's a human story about being passionate about one's dreams, never giving up, loving one another and so much more.

    Hair Meme

    Hair Meme

    Hair Meme

    An old photo of me from 2001 has become a meme. What an honor! :) You can see the best memes here: www.pinterest.com/stevegarufi/hair-guy-meme.

    I also have a Pinterest page dedicated to Anti-Kansas memes.

    Candy Crush Board

    Candy Crush

    I started playing Candy Crush Saga early in the year, and since the fall, I've completed the highest levels. As I type this on December 29, the highest level is 515, which I completed two weeks ago.

    What can I say? I'm a Candy Crush stud! My nickname is The Crusher! :)

    My advice for Candy Crush players: FOCUS ON THE CANDIES.

    Idaho Sunset

    Heartbreak

    I got my heart broken by a lovely girl in the fall. It happens, I suppose, but it hadn't happened for a long time.

    Everything seemed great, and I thought I had met "the one." Silly me.

    Friends

    Huge Thanks To Friends

    There are friends, and then there are "home run hitter friends" who came through for me in HUGE and WONDERFUL ways. Thank you to Mike and Jo (adjacent), Chris and Ruth, Ron, and Glenda.

    Videos
    Oh yes, I made many videos on my YouTube channel. Below is a variety that recap the year.
    Cars

    I made so many videos of old classic cars! :)

    Also: 1970 Pontiac Ambulance - 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

    Crazy Stuff

    When my crazy side comes out, it's a good thing.

    Also: You call me a bitch - -1 degrees

    Not Too Shabby

    In November, I started a "not too shabby" series.

    Also: Snowstorm - Bagel - All 39 Videos

    Fruita Bicycle Tour

    While I won't miss Fruita that much, my bicycle tour shows you around town. It's a good one.
    Arkansas Rice Farmer Shoots at Birds

    A great video of Jerald shooting blackbirds that affect his rice crop.

    Elmwood Cemetery

    Often I'd stop by the Elmwood Cemetery on 17 1/4 Road on my bike. It is a peaceful cemetery. A place to reflect about life. Usually my visits were solemn, but on this occasion, the sprinklers were on! :)

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