Four Seasons

Welcome to our Filly Fun Week!


It was long ago summers that cemented my life-long love of the West and horses and cowboys.  Every summer vacation, my father would gather up the family and take us on a road trip to see this gorgeous country (and visit strategically placed relatives.)

Some years, we would go north to the beautiful mountains of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. I remember driving through the famous tunnel tree before it fell down! (Those redwoods don’t have a very strong root system!) The river was a favorite place—and the water from the melted snow was much colder than the ocean near my house.

Sumertime fun
I’m the one with my hand raised, floating along with my brother and sister.

Other summers, we would head east. I soon became disenchanted with the long drive through the southwesetern desert. Just too hot and too big! How did our pioneers survive that trip with a horse and buggy?


Desert landscape

But when we headed a bit northeast—to Utah and Bryce Canyon or to Colorado and the Anasis Cave dwellings, or to Aspen, or Ouray, what a difference!

My parents and younger sister. This is the only time I ever saw my dad wear a cowboy hat!

All these trips were done without a radio. My father was all about “no bells and whistles” and so it was truly family time. We talked. We told jokes. We reminisced. We made up songs and sang. Usually, we camped with a tent. Sometimes we would haul a small trailer. Most of all, we had fun and learned to appreciate and respect nature (especially that time a skunk wandered into our campsite.)

Road Trip

It is on these family trips that my imagination would take flight and I would envision stories of the pioneers fording a river with their prairie schooner, or living in one of the soddies we passed along the road. I still get a kick from the names throughout the United States – Buzzards Bay, Hangman’s Gulch, and Salt-lick. Surely there are interesting stories in all those places.

My next adventure will be when I head to SEATTLE.My son recently relocated there. Do you remember the song on television’s Here Come the Brides? I just couldn’t resist sending him this…

What about you? What is a favorite memory that you have of summer?

Comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of my latest release! (See giveaway guidelines on this page)

Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove


Kathryn’s latest book ~ ~ is about two spunky sisters who take their own road trip from the east all the way to western Kansas.

Twins Mary and Maggie, agree to become mail-order brides to avoid jail, believing that once they get to Kansas they can avoid marriage. Things don’t work out quite as they hoped…

Available:  Amazon Button



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31 thoughts on “SUMMER FUN!”

  1. From this post I would say you had a wonderful childhood, Kathryn. My father never took vacation time but we lived near a small creek and my brothers and I lived there in the summer that or in the bordering woods where we got a lot of poison ivy!

    • Hi Rosie,
      Thanks for stopping by! Poison ivy does not sound like fun at all, but the creek and woods do sound like a magical place. With a regular, or nice, childhood, there is little I can draw on personally to make my stories more angsty or angry. Perhaps that is why I prefer to write “sweet” historicals LOL.

  2. We really didn’t do much during the summer when I was growing up. But we did make a trip to New York from Texas every summer and it was not fun. Me and one of my sisters always ended up carsick. I was glad when we got old enough to not have to go. Most of the time we used to spend the summer exploring the woods and creek near out house and catching snakes to take home to scare my mother with.

    • Getting carsick would ruin the trip for me too. Occasionally I have had that queasy feeling. I definitely get seasick on a small boat, which feels the same. Thank goodness flying does not bother me, although I guess it would if in a small plane and there was lots of turbulence.

      You scared your mother with SNAKES!! Did she ever retaliate? I think I would if my boys had done that to me!

      Thanks for stopping by Janine. I always like to see you pop in and visit.

  3. I have always lived close to the ocean and remember many day trips to play in the sand dunes and water. Buying crab(it was pretty cheap then) and eating lunch in a park.
    70 years later still make day trips to the beach.

  4. I enjoyed your post and photos. A memory from way back from the summer was driving to a fishing camp located on a beautiful lake where we would fish and swim for a week or two. Simple rustic cabin, reading, walks and life in the 1950’s.

  5. Wonderful feature. Summer is my favorite season. We drove a short distance up north to the Laurentians and rented a small house by a lake. My father would fish in a small motorboat and we would cook and eat the fish, pike, perch, trout and change our lives for this week.

    • HI Anne,
      I’m so glad that you stopped by to chat. Your memory sounds so relaxing. A real get-away from stress. I must look up on Google Maps where the Laurentians are located.

  6. We didn’t travel far from home but to a child it still was a vacation away from home especially during the summer. We visited Niagara falls and Stratford, Ont. in 1961 and this was an experience which was memorable. I repeated this when I was married since we lived nearby and went for a weekend.

    • Hello Ellie
      I’ve had the good fortune to visit Niagara Falls. It is such a beautiful place. The thing I remember most (besides the beauty) is how very windy it was both times that I was there.

  7. Any road trip is a great road trip to me. Whether it be to the Amish country in Ohio or the mountains of Tennessee..I am ready to go!

    • Hi Maureen! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. The beach is a magical place, isn’t it? I also remember digging up sand crabs as well as looking for shells. A great memory to be sure!

  8. We have had many great trips. It is really hard to pick a summer trip with the kids. Every time My husband was transferred to a new base, we took full advantage of the new area. Our first trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was right after they filmed Star Trek 5: Voyage Home there. There were film clips and props from the movie there. The aquarium is wonderful. We also did a volksmarch in Carmel. Lovely area.
    Another trip we took we went to San Diego and met a friend who gave us a tour of the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier. Afterwards, we visited friends at Edwards AFB and saw the shuttle landing that was diverted from Florida. They called all personnel and families to come out for the landing. It was the flight with Sally Ride, first American woman in space. They had everything ready for a big celebration in Florida, but got us instead.
    Another trip we went from Sacramento, CA up the West Coast hitting Lava Beds National Monument, Crater Lake, Mt. Ranier, and Olympic National Parks. We attended the World’s Fair in Vancouver, BC, Canada then went back home to Sacramento.
    There were many other wonderful trips.
    The best trip my husband and I ever took was in 2001 in September. From TN, we drove up the New England coast, crossed into New Brunswick, Canada, and went to Prince Edward Island. We spent a wonderful week there. It was like turning time back at least 30 years. A slow pace of life and friendly people. We went to Green Gables among other places. From PEI we took a sea ferry to Nova Scotia. We drove up and around Cape Breton Island. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to Halifax or much of the lower island before heading home.
    One afternoon, we were on the Northeast tip of PEI visiting a lighthouse. We overheard a couple ladies talking about a bomb going off in New York City. It was almost 3 in the afternoon of Sept. 11. We went to our car and turned on the radio. We headed back to where we were staying and turned on the TV. We contacted our children To make sure everything was OK. Our son had been heading cross country for a training and job possibility, but it was canceled. It was interesting having a different perspective than most Americans did. It was not as much of a siege mentality. There was a banner put up on a memorial in front of the American Consulate. People were stopping by and signing it. People were stopping us in the street saying how sorry they were. We still haven’t figured out how they knew we were Americans. The backup at the border we had crossed to get into Canada had a line many miles long of people trying to get back into the States. (I think they said 26 miles the first days, but that doesn’t seem possible.) Planes headed to NYC and area were diverted to Halifax. They had 8,000 people in their convention center and all hotels etc. were full. Since we had been stationed in Northern Maine and were familiar with the area, when we did head home we crossed at a remote rural crossing. I think we were one of the few cars they had all day.
    In 2013 we took our 15 year old grandson on a tour of the northern part of the West. When we traveled with our children, there were no electronic devices. We had a container for each of them with books, paper, markers, toys. We sang, talked, I read stories, and we played I spy or travel Bingo. They saw where we were and where we were going. With our grandson, the I-pod was plugged into his ears most of the time. We had to constantly point things out and try to engage him with the surroundings. When it is just my husband and I, we talk and stop often to check things out.

    Sorry this was so long. I could have gone on much longer, but enough is enough. I think this was a bit much.

    • Oh Patricia! I loved hearing of all your adventures! It is just amazing how much you have seen and done! What a lot of great memories you have! I wonder, in all you’ve seen, if you ever saw a rocket launched? That is something I would like to see in person. The shuttle landing must have been something! Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed reading all about your trips!

      • We are still trying on the rocket launch. We almost managed one. We were in Florida with our grandson and a launch was scheduled from the Cape. We extended our stay a couple of days, but they kept pushing the launch ahead. We finally had to leave so my husband could go back to work. Just as well we gave up, they eventually postponed the launch for a month or so.

  9. Hi Kathryn, you have visited many of my favorite places! I think my favorite summer memories happened in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. All 14 of us cousins went there every summer as kids…Smores, ranger talks, Zumwalt Meadow’s swinging bridge, and bears! Oh, I’m feeling it all once again.

    • Hi Tanya! I do remember that swinging bridge now that you mention it! Oh my! I always enjoyed the ranger talks. They made it so interesting! So nice to have you stop by, sister-filly!

  10. We never took vacation time as kids and I can only think of one time they took us to the Smoky Mountains and it was awesome. Most of the time we spent vacations on the river fishing.

  11. My Road Trip giveaway is now over. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting! The name I drew from my Stetson is Ellie!

    Ellie –contact me at kathryn at kathrynalbright dot com to claim your autographed copy of MAIL-ORDER BRIDES OF OAK GROVE!

  12. Hi Kathryn, I’m sorry I didn’t get over here yesterday. I enjoyed your post. When I was a kid, we used to take a yearly road trip from New Mexico to California to visit grandparents. I hated it because I’ve never liked riding in a car long distances. We’d get up about 3:00 in the morning and drive straight through because we couldn’t afford to stay in a motel. So we’d get to Lamont, CA around midnight. I’d be totally exhausted and very cranky. Hated it. The only thing that made it semi-bearable were stops at some of the Indian trading posts. That was fun and I’d get to buy a pair of moccasins with the money I’d saved all year. But I certainly didn’t enjoy the Mohave Desert and our car usually overheated. Then we’d bake while we waited for it to cool off.

    Nope, I don’t miss those days. Road travel is more comfortable now with air conditioning and lots of stops. Short trips are fine, but I still don’t enjoy it much.

    • Hi Linda,

      I remember stopping at a few of those trading posts. They were a fun place to stop and stretch our legs. I bought a necklace once, that I still have. (The silver needs polishing!) Thanks for commenting! You have such a busy book schedule this year, I don’t know how you manage!

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