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Road Trip 2020

Earlier this year, as the reality set in that the COVID crisis wasn't going to let up as soon as everyone was hoping, I decided to take some of my own advice.

Several clients had already expressed their despondency with the state of things back in April, and among the ways we explored to cope and cultivate the better side of ourselves, one thing I found myself returning to was an urge to plan for the future. What can't you wait to do once it's possible again? Picture it, plan it, and hope.

loveland counselor Mike Ensley's vacation

Then, as often happens in the hours after sessions have ended for the day, my Counselor voice turned itself toward me. "What can't you wait to do?"

I realized I was craving that early wake-up time, the open road, the unfamiliar countryside. So, with the same hope I strive to instill in my clients, I looked into National Park camping availabilities down the road.

Several years ago I did a quick trip to Tetons and Yellowstone, and have been wanting to go back ever since. Picking a time that I hoped was far enough down the road to allow such a trip, I booked a spot.

Now, hope is always a risk. I had no idea if the parks, state borders, or anything else would be shut down come September. But there's no choosing hope without chancing disappointment. The fear of a let-down, though, has dashed far more hopes than disappointment itself. I heard my Counselor voice reminding me.

So, several strange and uncertain months later, I was glad not to have to call anything off.

There's much more to say on this trip, but for now I'd just like to share some of my favorite photos. from a trip round Wyoming, from the Tetons to Yellowstone and finally Devil's Tower. I hope you will enjoy and perhaps be inspired to take a chance on hope.


Mike Ensley is a professional counselor in Loveland, CO, a hobbyist photographer and fan of America's National Parks.


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