Water-Falling Through July

In January, Jake got a job offer in New Mexico. So I left my job in Denver and we moved to Santa Fe. I celebrated my birthday at Meow Wolf on February 16. By March, I was teaching various classes at diverse yoga studios in Santa Fe and via Skype. By the time April rolled around I had allowed myself to fall in love with Santa Fe – the City Different. In May, I flew back to Denver for a Yoga Nidra training – two weeks of pure bliss. However, on the summer solstice, June 21, nearly six months after we had moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, an ugly truth revealed itself – I was stuck.

While I was following my dream of growing as a yogi and teaching everyday, I felt unchallenged and stunted. I wasn’t moving forward in my career goals because I was having trouble finding work that I was passionate about besides teaching yoga. I realized I needed to push myself forward and pursue other dreams. So I decided to follow my passion and tackle one of my biggest goals – working for a magazine. And that is exactly how I landed back in Denver, Colorado – as a marketing intern at 5280 Magazine!

Jake, ever the supportive boyfriend, wished me luck as I drove off to Denver on July 8. After settling in at my temporary residence, Jake and our adorable pup, Ronnie, came up the following weekend. Even though Colorado was experiencing a drier than usual summer, I was determined to not let the heat ruin our weekend of waterfalls.

Day 1: Exploring Idaho Springs

After a 5.5-hour drive from Santa Fe to Denver, Jake was ready to move, so we started our afternoon at Echo Lake in Idaho Springs. The chilly weather reminded us that we were no longer in the high desert but back in the mountains.

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Echo Lake, Idaho Springs.

As ominous clouds rolled into view, we cut our hike short in order to get to the first waterfall of the weekend—the waterfall at the Charlie Taylor Water Wheel.

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The Charlie Taylor Water Wheel.

Located across from downtown Idaho Springs, we spotted this picturesque waterfall several times before while driving west into the mountains. But we had never stopped to marvel at its beauty longer than a quick glance out the window. To satisfy our curiosity, we navigated down the river and took our time with the view before heading across the highway to Beau Jo’s for a classic mountain pie.

Day 2: Venturing out to Boulder & Nederland

I practically had to drag Jake out of the house at 7:30 in the morning. The early morning was well worth it as we snagged the last parking spot along Boulder Canyon Drive outside Boulder Falls—waterfall #2. Not only the easiest trek of the weekend (a quick ten minutes from the parking lot) but also the most exquisite. Boulder Falls was by far my favorite visit of the weekend.

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Boulder Falls, located in Boulder Canyon.

I was mesmerized. This time Jake had to drag me back to the car. We were on our way to waterfall #3—the Forsythe Canyon to waterfall and reservoir – when along the side of the road we spotted a white horse, grazing in the shade not far from the road. I leapt out of the car with my camera, eager to get a shot of the beautiful creature up close. We arrived at the trail head around 11 a.m., as many were finishing up the hike.

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White horse having lunch among the aspens a mere two miles from the trail head.

While a longer (about 2 miles round trip) and rockier hike, the Forsythe Canyon trail is mostly shaded, allowing a reprieve from the ferocity of the Colorado sun. Our little pup, Ronnie, led the way as we walked the path, wandered the willows, and bouldered the cliffs to our destination.

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We followed the leader – Ronnie.

Sadly, the waterfall had run dry and was nothing more of a trickle down the cliff edge. Nevertheless, we persisted, hiking further into the canyon until we came across the Forsythe Reservoir.

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The entrance to the Forsythe reservoir.

While it may look perfect for swimming, this lake is strictly off-limits. No body contact with the water is allowed. Our eyes were all over it though. Even so, eventually it was time to go. We were eager to try out 4 Noses Brewery, our first choice because we could bring our furry Ronnie inside with us. Two refreshing beers later, we were driving home as I made plans to come back and get a growler full for Jake’s next visit. But I still had one more outing on my agenda. So after a quick nap, we ventured out once again, this time to the Flat Iron Vistas Trailhead. We mustered up as much energy as we could and hiked another three miles. Watching the cows cross the path was a delightful treat.

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We watched the cows cross the path as the sun set on the mountains.

The weekend went by too quickly and we were drained. Jake had to drive 5.5 hours back to Santa Fe the following morning. I was staying behind to start a new job. I would like to say it was just the beauty of the sun setting behind the Flatiron Mountains that evoked the tears to flow down my cheeks, but it wasn’t. I knew the price of following one of my dreams was that I would have to be apart from Jake and Ronnie for a little while. I let myself quietly cry next to my two favorite boys as the sun melted into the earth, closing one chapter of our ongoing story.

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The sun setting behind the Flatiron Mountains.

The next morning, we slept in. We ate left over Chinese food for breakfast. We made plans for the rest of the summer and the start of autumn, determined not to let distance get in the way of our adventures. This time, I was the one saying goodbye to Jake as he drove off. I let another tear escape and soon more were flowing. I guess a weekend of waterfalls was an appropriate theme after all.

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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