The Year 2016 - My Personal Review Page

Not a Shabby Year in Trinidad, Colorado ...
In 2016, I entered into my upper 40s, and I can vouch the aging process sucks. My hair isn't growing anymore. Injuries take longer to heal, if ever. And I've come to hate most pictures of myself. No, life is never easy, and I could share my list of grievances of circumstances I wish weren't so. Still, I have so much to be grateful for, and this is my annual page to reflect on the good, the bad, and how God has led me.

Special thanks to Bill and Katrina, two friends in Trinidad whose friendship and commitment have meant a lot to me.

Steve Garufi Library Event
My talk at the Fairfield, NJ library about biking across America. This was held in December and was my 21st presentation of the year.

Steve a.k.a. "Colorado Guy" Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest - YouTube

Trinidad, Colorado Work and Sabbatical - I worked full-time for much of the year as a mental health clinician in Trinidad and Walsenburg. The pay was generous, and the work was rewarding. I learned so much from the experiences of my clients and enjoyed connections that I'll always cherish.

In October, I took time off my job and started a 6-month sabbatical to rest and renew. Since then, I've been working at the Colorado Welcome Center part-time and have been preparing for a bike across America trip in February-March 2017. I anticipate jumping back into the fray of counseling work once I return from my cross-country journey in April.

Wasson Peak Hike Living in Trindad - To be honest, living in Trinidad has been a so-so experience. The town doesn't have much to offer in hiking trails, places to bike, and scenic parks. The culture of Trinidad is much different than Colorado mountain towns with a much happier and outdoorsy vibe. Hence, this website has seen a significant reduction in updates since I moved here in September 2015. For 2017, I'm pretty sure I'll be moving to a more desirable Colorado town where the updates will be plentiful.

Now I did get out and make some write-ups of this region. I frequently biked up Raton Pass, visited the Trinidad overlook frequently, and drove on the Highway of Legends (Hwy 12) throughout the year. :)

Library Event
My talk at the Angel Fire, New Mexico library was a good one.

I gained more publicity in 2016. The best was when I was interviewed by Trace and Matt on their morning sports talk show in Abilene, Texas. :)

More Book Promotion - 2016 was "Year Two" of being an author. Under a Triumphant Sky continues to sell in the niche market of bicycle travel books.

The big breakthrough was the myriad of presentations I did at libraries about biking across America. It's a long list, and it makes me smile to type them all out: Lamar; Abilene, TX (downtown library); Abilene, TX (senior center); Abilene, TX (Austin elementary school); Bella Vista, AR; Fort Smith, AR; Joplin, MO; La Veta; Pueblo (Barkman library on the east side); Pueblo West; Pagosa Springs; Colorado City; Colorado Springs; Westcliffe; Angel Fire, NM; Espanola, NM; Louisville; Bailey; Loveland; Littleton; and Fairfield, NJ.

The best events were: Pueblo East Side (the first event with my slide show), La Veta (for being such a fun and plentiful crowd for such a small town) Littleton (64 attendees, the biggest crowd), and Fairfield, NJ (my childhood hometown).

Trump Bully
It'll be interesting to see how anti-bullying programs play out now that the country has elected one of the biggest bullies to the presidency.

Gary Johnson Presidential Campaign in Colorado
I held signs like this in Pueblo a few times in the fall.

My Response to Donald Trump - Just so you know, I rarely discuss politics on my website, but this was an extraordinary year.

I began 2016 expecting to vote Republican like I've done for the past 20+ years. I really liked Marco Rubio. I thought Rand Paul and John Kasich were decent candidates too. From the beginning I was clear that I would NEVER vote for Mr. Trump - a vile racist, a serial sexual predator, a bully, and a dangerous sociopath with all the characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder as listed in the DSM-V.

When Trump won the nomination, I refused to be associated with him in any way. I publicly condemned him throughout the year and unregistered myself as a Republican. My ministries, my spheres of influence and my connections/relationships with others were too important to be aligned with this disgusting man. In August, I endorsed Gary Johnson as the best alternative candidate and worked for him in the fall.

For me, the rise of Donald Trump was a life-changing experience. For the first time in my life, I was speaking out against spineless and hypocritical Republicans who sullied their integrity by supporting him. I was also openly challenging my fellow white conservative evangelical Christian friends to reject this evil and repugnant man. I did lose some friendships, but I also earned the respect of others. I'm not sure if I'm a "liberal" these days, but the antics of the Trump campaign have opened my eyes. I'm much more sensitive to the plight of minorities. Social justice issues like fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline are movements I've supported. And I've drawn the line: While I may be a "conserative" in many ways, I have no tolerance for racism, bigotry, blatant ignorance, a lack of empathy for others, or the nationalistic mob-mentality that has characterized Donald Trump's political movement and many of his supporters.

Not Too Shabby - I made another 200 to 300 "not too shabby" videos in 2016. Just click the video on the left and enjoy. :)

Reddit sent many viewers my way with a surge in subscribers, and I was overjoyed when Opie Radio discussed my videos in March ...
Morton's Neuroma - As 2016 comes to a close, I'm sad to say I'm still struggling with Morton's Neuroma in both feet with some plantar fasciitis as well.

Since January 2015, I've seen 3 podiatrists, 2 general doctors, one chiropractor/functional neurologist, and 5 physical therapists. I've bought expensive custom orthotics, placed metatarsal pads in my shoes, and have bought and used a tens unit and cold laser that I use regularly at home. As of now, I'm hopeful my chiropractor/functional neurologist has me on the right path to healing, but I'm to the point where I may seek a surgical solution if things aren't much better by Summer 2017. The balls of my feet almost always have a burning sensation with nerve discomfort shooting into my toes. At times, it's been difficult to walk due to the size of the neuromas and the inflammation it causes.

Trinchera Peak, CO Hikes - In the summer, there was a window where my neuromas weren't tood bad and I hiked the following:
  • Wheeler Peak
  • Trinchera Peak
  • West Spanish Peak
  • Greenhorn Mountain
  • Fishers Peak
  • Paint Mines
  • Denver Broncos Super Bowl - Cheering the Denver Broncos towards their third Super Bowl title was so much fun. Bill Ferris and I watched the game at Brix Sports Bar & Grill in Trinidad.

    After the game, I made this video of people celebrating on Main Street. :)

    2016 Fantasy Football Champion
    A list of all champions. 2016 was the ten-year anniversary of #cgleague.
    2016 ColoradoGuy.com Fantasy Football League - Congratulations to Plaid Jello for defeating the Ferris Wheels in the championship game. We had another enjoyable year with 16 managers. This year, the public was able to buy t-shirts of their favorite team too. ;)

    As for the Garbage Cans, I went 8-5 in the regular season, won a first round playoff game, and then lost in the semifinals. My core starters were QB Blake Bortles, WR Allen Robinson, WR Brandin Cooks, RB Melvin Gordon, RB Spencer Ware, and TE Greg Olsen. Near the end of the season, I was regularly benching Bortles and Robinson (my 1st round pick) for performing horribly. Also, Jeremy Hill had a disappointing year as my 3rd round draft pick.

    Denver Sunset
    A sunset as I was headed home from the Denver Airport.
    To My Lord Jesus Christ - I really don't have the words to express my love and gratitude to you. I pray that you keep my humble. Please use me for your purposes.

    Thanks for the gift of life, for giving me a new heart, and the opportunity to live out this adventure. :)

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