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Oklahoma Sooner…or Later – July 20-22, 2018

It took us a couple of stabs at it, but after shifting this and altering that, we were able to finally make the Annual Kitty Overnighter a reality the weekend of July 20-22. That’s the good news. The bad news is the rescheduled date caused lots’o Kitties to have to miss the ride. While we had a whopping 17 Kitties signed up in June for the Overnighter, the number dwindled to 7.5 in July. The .5 is because I was only able to go for one night and missed all the fun and frivolity the last part of Saturday and the ride home on Sunday, which by the way was about 30 degrees cooler than the day we left. But hey, it didn’t rain so maybe my Rain Goddess spell has been broken!

Let’s talk about the weather a bit, shall we? It felt like a sweltering summer in the Sahara on that Friday afternoon as we all gathered in the QuikTrip parking lot. It sort of made us question that mid-afternoon start time as we all guzzled down as much water as we could and sprayed about a gallon and a half of sunscreen on our exposed skin. Surely, it’ll feel cooler when we start moving, right? Wrong. Riding at 65 mph just made it feel like we were riding into an industrial-sized blast furnace!

Kathryn led the group via the scenic route and I tried to remember all the roads we took as I knew I had to get myself back home by myself on Saturday afternoon. After about the sixth turn, I gave up and convinced myself there was probably a more straightforward route home and just settled in for the hot, yet beautiful ride in the Kansas countryside.

Kathryn, whose Road Name should be Google Maps, seems to know every road in the state of Kansas AND Oklahoma as she led us through the green rolling countryside, into small towns that caused us to reminisce about time spent there on previous rides, and right into the gas station in Sedan where we collapsed into a collective puddle of sweat. After we filled our gas tanks with fuel, we commandeered a table in the station where we guzzled more water and ate snacks to energize us for the remainder of the trip. To say we were a sweaty mess is an understatement! As I looked around the table, I seemed to look the worst….Lori looked the best…damn her! I feel I need to remind everyone that me and wet hair or wet anything do not look good together. The socks I had on that day says exactly why!

All too soon we had to reluctantly say good-bye to our air-conditioned table and head back out to the searing sun and heat. The Weather Gods must have seen my socks because remarkably, the ride from Sedan to Bartlesville did seem cooler. Not like beautiful spring day cooler, but not sweltering summer in the Sahara hot! Kathryn led us right to the door of the Days Inn and we started the process of getting checked in, unloading our bikes and finding our rooms. We agreed that we would prefer an Uber or Lyft or taxi-cab or rickshaw or just about anything other than getting back on our bikes to go to dinner. After several attempts, turns out Bartlesville doesn’t have any of the above so it’s back on the bikes we go!

Kathryn had suggested we eat at the Painted Horse Restaurant and wow, was that ever a good call! Dawn had called in reservations, so they had our table all ready for us when we arrived. As we were perusing the menu, Maureen asked, “Does anyone what to share a steak with me?” Lori and I looked at each other and busted out laughing. Who shares a steak? Who can’t eat a whole steak by herself? Why don’t you just order off the children’s menu, you “I ate three peas and I’m full” Kitty? In between our jabs and laughter, Melaina raised her hand and said, “I will share a steak with you Maureen.” Are you kidding me? You actually got someone to go along with that insane idea? Oh well, don’t come complaining to us when you’re hungry later because you didn’t get enough to eat!

While we were waiting for our seven FULL orders and two HALF orders to arrive, I decided this would be a good time to pimp the 50/50 tickets. We broke from tradition and didn’t sell them at the QuikTrip earlier that day because it was just too hot to dig them out of my saddle bag. Eight Kitties x $5.00 = $40.00 divided by two is $20.00. It wasn’t a huge winning, but it was better than nothing which is exactly what I expected to get.

Then our food arrived. When the waitress asked if we needed anything else, I said, “Yes, please. I would like some A1 Sauce to put on the CROW I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO EAT!” Holy Brisket Balls!!! This wasn’t a steak; this was a side of beef on our plates! This wasn’t a few fingerling potatoes; this was an entire bag of them! This was a petite-sized portion of roasted brussel sprouts; this was a bushel full of them! This wasn’t a bowl of mac and cheese; this was a vat of it! I looked at Lori and sheepishly asked, “Wanna share a steak with me?”

After we did our best to eat what we could, which in the end, looked like we hadn’t eaten anything at all (except for Maureen and Melaina’s plates which were clean as a whistle), it was time to draw the winning 50/50 ticket. I gave our waitress the honors of digging in the flamed bag and had my camera poised to take the picture of the winner. And then my Feline Friends….after more years and rides than I can count; after countless newsletter articles lamenting over the fact that I never win; after giving up all hope of ever winning; after begrudgingly handing over money that I believed should have rightfully been mine….I WON THE FREAKING POT!!!! I was so absolutely flabbergasted that I won that I instinctually slammed my hand on the table, which not only got the attention of the Kitties at my table but all the guests at the surrounding tables. I couldn’t even get any words out and I think I might have teared up a little. Yes, it was a milestone day for me and I’ll always fondly remember Bartlesville as the place that broke that Pot Winning curse for me! Hey, that’s two curses I’m not under anymore!

After having a very insightful discussion as to who wears honest to goodness pajamas to bed, who wears shorts and a tank top to bed and who wears absolutely NOTHING to bed (all parties will remain anonymous because what happens in Bartlesville stays in Bartlesville), we settled up our tab and waddled out to our bikes to make our way back to the hotel. After locking them up we said our good-nights. I think Moonshine was disappointed that we weren’t going to have any moonshine and party into the wee hours of the morning. The day’s heat and sun had zapped us all…well, except for Maureen who said, “Don’t you all know alcohol is a stimulant?? You’ll feel fine after a couple of swigs from my moonshine bottle!” To which we replied, nighty-night Maureen. (Note from Author: I reserve the right to make up what I believe a Kitty is thinking.)

We agreed to meet for the free breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and I think Kathryn must be living in a different time zone because she was up and at ‘em at 6:15 and walked next door to the IHOP for a “real” breakfast. It still baffles me that someone would choose to be anywhere at 6:15 in the morning. Was it even light yet?? After one sip of the free coffee, Lori decided to walk next door to the IHOP for “real” coffee. You know the old saying…you can have free, fast or good, but you can’t have all three! After Maureen asked if anyone wanted to share a piece of toast with her, we wrapped up our breakfast and proceeded to load up our belongings on our bikes. Next stop…the Frank Phillips home!

Kathryn, as part of her travel agent duties, suggested we tour the home of Frank Phillips, the founder of the Phillips Petroleum Company aka Phillips 66, and while we arrived pretty much on time, the 10:00 tour had already started. Rhonda, the kind lady in the gift shop, said the next tour would start at 11:30. In unison, we all said, “Yyyeahhhh, that’s not gonna work.” Not wanting to see $7.50 x 8 walk out the door, she said if we could wait about 20 minutes to give the first tour time to get a little further in the house so we wouldn’t be on top of each other, she would take us on our own tour. You betcha we’ll wait! In the meantime, we wandered through the gift shop and bought pins and little flags and walked through the museum that was attached to the gift shop where photo ops were plentiful. Twenty minutes flew by and we were off to see how the other half lived in the early 1900’s. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house, but it was absolutely beautiful and the family’s story was incredibly interesting. Kathryn, you nailed that suggestion! We took a couple of pictures outside and then it was time to bike up and go find gas and get on the road.

After gassing up and getting water, seven of the Kitties headed east to Tahlequah and I headed north to Wichita. I will now turn the reporting reins over to Alice to find out what happened the rest of the day Saturday and Sunday, but before I do I want to say THANK YOU to Kathryn for an outstanding weekend! She led us to where we needed to go without a hitch and her suggestions for dinner and Saturday morning entertainment were perfect! We’re very lucky to have Google Maps as a member of KKMC! We missed all the Kitties who weren’t able to attend the Overnighter but we also understand that springing an overnight trip on people with only a few weeks’ notice makes it difficult.

Now for the rest of the story by Alice

On Saturday, July 21st, after we toured the Frank Phillips home, seven of us headed east out of town and Janice kept going straight to return to Wichita. She had a preplanned date with her granddaughter, Charlotte, to go see Paw Patrol in Topeka on Sunday. The rest of us, the Magnificent Seven, rode towards Grove, OK where we had lunch at the Parrot Steakhouse and Grill.

The ride to Grove, OK, was beautiful, and thankfully not quite as hot as Friday. It was still plenty hot, but any relief was appreciated. Shortly after we got underway, Lori came speeding up to catch Kathryn, our road captain, and asked her to stop. Maureen’s saddlebag had come undone, and at least her hat had flown out and we didn’t know what else might have followed the hat. Luckily, Maureen was able to quickly turn around, retrieve her hat and sat on it until the next stop. Nothing else (that we know of) fell out of the saddlebag.

Kathryn is very familiar with the geography and back roads of Oklahoma. She used to go fishing with her grandfather in these ‘neck of the woods’. She led us through some beautiful country roads where we got to see just how pretty Oklahoma is with all of the trees and colorful wildflowers. We crossed large bridges and saw Monkey Island.

We pulled into Grove, OK, looking forward to our lunch at the Parrot Steakhouse. As you know, Kitties enjoy their food! There was a beautiful lake, and the Parrot Steakhouse was located next to the marina. It was a peaceful sight. We went inside and quickly discovered why the restaurant had ‘parrot’ in its name. However, we soon thought we’d have to change Maureen’s road name from Moonshine to Parrot Killer. Jake, the parrot was very squawky, especially when Jake wanted attention, or food, or both! It was a little unsettling for us all to be eating and all of the sudden Jake would let loose. We had excellent food at the Squawking Parrot Steakhouse. It was a nice oasis for us out of the heat. And we even saved a seat in honor of Janice.

After lunch we proceeded down the road to Tahlequah, OK. We went on a green spotted road, meaning it was a scenic route. And that was the absolute truth! The road was definitely scenic. We had sweeping curves with trees on both sides of the road. It was like driving down a tunnel of trees. And of course, the shade was a welcome relief from the sun. As we got closer to Tahlequah, the road began to run parallel to the river. We saw rafts lazily floating down the river. It looked divine and so much fun. Many of us thought of pulling over and jumping onto a raft, but with motorcycle boots, that wasn’t an option (as if that was the only thing stopping us). As we approached Tahlequah, it seemed like it took a while to get to our motel due to the heat and being stopped at almost every red light. Once we arrived at the motel, we noticed there was a swimming pool, so several of the Kitties took advantage of cooling off in the pool after checking into the rooms. Fortunately, the room air conditioners worked well, so we were able to be in a cool room. After we arrived, we were definitely done riding for the day. Since it was almost 7:00 pm, we were hungry again. Christine discovered a Chili’s that was .3 miles from the motel. Sounded good to everyone.

We proceeded to walk over to Chile’s. There wasn’t a good path to get there, but that never stops the Kitties. We took advantage of getting our picture taken in front of the Tahlequah sign that indicated that Tahlequah was the Cherokee Nation’s capital.

Onto Chili’s we went because we could see the sign in the distance. We had to cross some freeway entrance/exits ramps, so we were playing the old game ‘Frogger’ as we crossed. Frogger is an old video game where the frog is trying to cross a highway without being hit by cars. When we arrived, there was a little wait to get a table. It was Saturday night in Tahlequah, after all. We proceeded to the bar and learned about these amazing cold drinks called Firecrackers. Most of us had to try one or three. The drinks and cold water were tasty to say the least. After we got the first round of Firecrackers, Lori came up with a cheer: Firecracker, Firecracker, Boom, Boom, Boom! Of course, we all joined in; we can’t have a Kitty doing a cheer all by herself! After a bit, we got a table where we got to be cozy close. We discussed that Lori’s road name could be Firecracker. Lori is considering it and seeing if is a fit for her. Maybe another option is “Boom Boom”! We ordered our food and continued to enjoy our drinks. After dinner, we got to have a little exercise and crossed freeway ramps, triple checking for cars (just like on bikes), and ran across the ramps, onto the grass and then to our motel.

We decided to get an early start at 0700 for the next day so that we wouldn’t ride in the afternoon heat of the day. And it would give us time to stop in Dexter, KS at the Henry’s Candy store. Candy, whaaaaatttttt????? We’re in! The evening before, the early start sounded better than it did when the alarm went off early the next morning. Dawn cleaned all of the Kitties’ windshields so we wouldn’t have to start out our day by looking through bug guts. We always appreciate Dawn’s thoughtfulness. All the Kitties were loaded and ready to roll at 0700. Candy it turns out is a huge motivator for road weary Kitties! To everyone’s surprise, it was KSU right at 7:00. Dawn volunteered to be our road captain taking us back to Wichita and avoiding toll roads.
On Sunday, July 22nd, as we departed, the weather was much more accommodating and was cooler that morning than it had been the whole trip. Some of the Kitties even put on jackets. We embraced the cool. We stopped in Muskogee, OK for a quick (QT) breakfast. Christine and Melaina gave me JIT (Just In Time) information about navigating curves, and boy did that timing work out well!

At Tulsa, the Magnificent Seven were down to six because Kathryn was stopping in Tulsa to see a grade school friend. The Samurai Six were: Dawn, Christine, Lori, Maureen, Melaina, and myself. We traveled through Tulsa and rode the freeway with the fast, sweeping curves and construction. I was sweating bullets by the time we got through Tulsa and was very happy when Christine pulled up to Dawn and suggested we stop at a QuikTrip outside of Bartlesville. Don’t know if the bullets were a result of the road or the heat. Let’s go with heat! This trip represented quite a few “firsts” for me, including crossing state lines on a bike; going that far in one day; and riding lots of curves. As typical, the Kitty Sisters were wonderful and supportive in helping me become a better rider.

Dawn navigated us successfully to Dexter and the Henry’s Candy Store. It seems like this candy store is a milestone that each Kitty gets the privilege to achieve. Melaina and I had never been there before, so we were even more excited…until they saw the GRAVEL parking lot. We got our bikes parked and everyone proceeded into the store, but not before a picture was taken to capture the memory. Candy for everyone, even chocolate! It seemed cool enough that it might not melt. So, we then then saddled up and thought carefully about navigating our way up to the road through the gravel. Luckily, there was asphalt at the top of the incline before getting on the road. Turns out, we are better on gravel then we gave ourselves credit for!

We were on our last leg of the journey with one more gas stop before getting to Wichita. We stopped in Douglass to get gas. But instead, we did some slow formation (think Shriners) riding in the school parking lot as we turned around in search of gas stations because they were all closed up with the pumps removed. We thought we did the formation riding pretty well, especially after a hot road trip. We pulled into a closed gas station to formulate our next plan, or as we like to refer to it as Plan B! At that time, we also found out that Maureen’s Hello Kitty cup holder broke in route, and she had to stick it into her coat until we stopped. We discovered there are no gas stations in Douglass and we needed to go to either Derby or Augusta to find gas. In Douglass, Maureen’s gas range was down to 10 miles, and it was 15 miles to a gas station in Derby or Augusta. She said she’d give it a shot, and if she ran out of gas, we’d handle that challenge if it arose. Thankfully, she and we made it to the gas station in Augusta. Maureen had said earlier in the trip that our hobby of riding motorcycles is not for sissies. Boy was she right!

In Augusta, we said our final goodbyes for a trip full of fun and memories and headed into the soon to be setting sun……

Trip Take Aways:

Maureen had a trifecta – blown out hat, broken cup holder, low gas
 Everyone survived high heat and high humidity
 Motorcycle riding is not for sissies
 Firecracker drinks are tasty
 Keeping a sense of humor is key, even when hot, tired, and thirsty
 It is fun to have shared experiences and to be in it together
 There’s always room on a bike for candy.
 We’re looking forward to our next trip

Those on board for the “Oklahoma Sooner…or Later” Overnighter were Queenie, Moonshine, Lori, AliKat, da Vinci, Wrench, Glitter, and Lady.

Janice, KKMC Founder

 

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Being Forced Underground – June 23, 2018

Two days. That’s how much time we had to throw together a Plan B when Suz, Kathryn and I came to the painful conclusion that we were forced to abandon Plan A, which was our much-anticipated Overnighter to Oklahoma. The strong chances of weekend thunderstorms were not letting up in our neighboring state so we just gotta let that go and focus on dryer territory. Many years ago, my Tom Kat, Greg, and I, along with Stephanie and a mutual friend of ours, rode to Ellinwood and I remembered that it had some interesting underground areas that you could go through. I looked at the weather forecast for Ellinwood for Saturday, June 23rd, and it was clear skies. Check. I calculated the distance. One hundred and eight miles. Check. I looked for restaurants and found two that got good reviews. Check. I ran the idea by Kathryn and Suz who gave me the thumbs up. Check. With all the criteria met, it was settled – Ellinwood was replacing Bartlesville and Tahlequah for our June Road Trip.

As I was making the plans for the ride to Ellinwood, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the underground tunnels were available to tour on Saturday. That’s when I learned from Chris, the owner of the Wolf Hotel and Chief Executive Officer of the underground, informed me that they already had a large group coming in on Saturday for a catered lunch and tour and hey, why don’t you join them? Yeah, why don’t we? Being tight on time, this would save me from having to communicate with a restaurant. With everything in place, I spread the word to the Kitties and crossed my fingers that a two-day notice for a ride would still result in a good turnout. Boy howdy, was it ever a good turnout! Seventeen Kitties and two guests said, what the heck! Let’s go see the underbelly of Ellinwood!

While it was pouring rain in Oklahoma (we nailed that decision!), it was all sunny and dry on Saturday morning here in Doo Dah. Beautiful bike after beautiful bike came pouring into the QuikTrip parking lot and we commandeered a large chunk of it for our meetin’ spot. I think Lori is under the impression that every ride is a costume ride. It’s either that or she was confused and thought that this was a gathering for the Future Farmers of America as she showed up overalled from top to bottom and looking like Old McDonald had just stepped off the farm! Well, if she doesn’t like Gung Ho or Wackado for a Road Name, how about McKitty? Or Haymaker? Or Corn Cob? Or Crop Duster? Crop Duster could have a second meaning, if you catch my drift. Get it….catch my drift?? Damn, I make myself laugh!

After introducing ourselves to our two guest riders, Stephanie and Tresny, we had a brief meeting to go over the route and divided the group into two with Kathryn in the lead of one group and Kari and Bobbie, who were convertible Mustanging it, in the lead of the other group. We all biked up and we were off right on time!

At the very tail end of the second group was Stephanie, with Suz behind her riding final sweep. Unbeknownst to all the Kitties in front of them, almost immediately after pulling out of the QuikTrip parking lot and getting on 135, Stephanie’s sunglasses went flying off her face. That’s No Bueno! Maybe Stephanie can just duck behind her windshield for the entire trip. What’s that you say? She doesn’t have a windshield on her bike?? That’s a BIG No Bueno! So how did Stephanie ride the 108 miles to Ellinwood with no sunglasses and no windshield? Like a BadAss, that’s how! I think we all know what Stephanie’s Road Name is going be, don’t we? BadFreakingAss!

The ride to Ellinwood was absolutely perfect! It was cool, but not too cold. There wasn’t so much as a whisper of wind and there was abundant sunshine (which was NOT good for Stephanie!) Everyone rode in perfect formation and most importantly, our Lead Riders led us right to the Wolf Hotel without one dreaded U turn! Well done ladies!

After arriving at the Wolf Hotel, which is where all tours for the underground tunnels begins and ends, we made a potty stop and then joined the other tour group, who were a bunch of senior citizens from the Kansas City area who were very tolerant of this girl gang of rough and rowdy bikers, in the lobby. Our tour guide, Rick, provided us with some fascinating education about the hotel and the tunnels. I tried to embed as much as I could into my pea-sized brain so I could pass on some of the interesting facts, so let’s see how well I did, shall we?

• The town of Ellinwood was settled by German immigrants in the late 1800’s when they were encouraged by Kansas state leaders to come to the sunflower state (was it really the sunflower state in the 1800’s?) because it never gets too cold there, it never gets too hot, it has very little humidity, the air smells like perfume and you could literally grow anything in its lush and fertile soil. Where was Truth in Advertising in the 1800’s??

• Following the customs of Europeans, after the German settlers built the two square blocks of the business district (which still remains the same today), they built businesses below ground covering the same area with tunnels connecting all the businesses. At the time, they called this area the basement, or whatever the word for basement is in German. Someone please Google that for me.

• Once the town was established, it became an important stop on the Sante Fe Trail.

• Along with the cattle being moved on the Sante Fe Trail came dirty, stinky, hungry, thirsty, horny cowboys.

• The underground businesses became an important part of servicing the cowboys, as well as other men in Ellinwood. Women were never to go in the underground businesses as they were considered too delicate for what went on down there. Well, except for the women who were taking care of those horny cowboys! Soiled doves were more than welcome in the tunnels!

• With the popularity of the railroad, the Sante Fe Trail was used less and less which meant fewer cowboys coming through town. Soon the tunnels and underground businesses fell out of favor and were no longer used and they were locked up.

• In the 1970’s, a lady in town, Adrianna with a German last name I had no chance of remembering, rediscovered the tunnels when she inherited a building after her father’s death. She opened the tunnels back up for the public to see. After all, it had been eons since anyone had seen them so there was a whole new audience.

• Everything was going swell until in the 1980’s, the town of Ellinwood decided to replace the decaying sidewalks along the above ground business district and while doing so, to fill in the tunnels with sand because of liability issues. Seriously? You have something underneath you that is 100 years old and you’re going to destroy it? What were you thinking??

• Fortunately, Adrianna managed to convince the town leaders that they couldn’t fill in the tunnels under the building she rightfully owned so back off you no good politicians! These are mine! All mine!

• What remains today are the tunnels and businesses under Adrianna’s building. Adrianna is no longer living but current town leaders have been shown the money and understand this is an important part of the Ellinwood commerce, not to mention Kansas history.

• Interesting fact: Wichita also used to have underground tunnels and businesses back in the day. After all, there were plenty of dirty, stinky, hungry, thirsty, horny cowboys in Wichita too!

After our history lesson, we were anxious to see if Suz and Denise could overcome their claustrophobia as we all descended the very stairs those dirty, stinky, hungry, thirsty, horny cowboys once used. I’m happy to report that Suz and Denise overcame their fear and braved the tunnels like champions.

The first stop on our tour of the underground businesses was the harness shop owned by Tom Drake, who may have been the only resident of Ellinwood without a German name. The story goes that as the railroad replaced cowboys on horses, Tom had less and less business so he tried to sell his equipment. However, no one was stupid enough to buy harness making equipment with no horses to harness, so he just walked away from all his equipment and left it in the shop. The items we saw were the actual tools and equipment ole Tom used in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. How cool is that??

We also saw what Bobbie refers to as pie cooling tables, but in fact, they were BODY cooling tables. This is where the deceased would be laid out to cool before embalming. Aren’t dead people already cool? Why do they have to be cool-ER? The deceased weren’t actually laid out in the tunnels; after all cowboys have a line and walking around dead people was crossing it, but the tables are being stored down there. I thought it would be a great photo op but I couldn’t get any takers for laying down on a table where dead people used to lay. Something about being too much like laying in a coffin. Sissies!

Suz and Denise got their picture taken behind the original teller cage that was saved from the Ellinwood Bank, which was closed down many, many years ago. The story goes that the President of the bank and a teller, who were brothers, were stealing from it. This eventually led the teller brother to commit suicide by shooting himself. I think this photo op was Suz and Denise’s way of proving to everyone that they did, in fact, go down in the tunnels and look how they are smiling! I think their claustrophobia has been cured! You’re welcome.

The next stop on our tour was the Jung (pronounced Young) Barber Shop. Apparently, Mr. Jung not only cut hair and gave you a shave, but he fancied himself as an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor, with special emphasis on the throat part. “Got a sore throat? No problem – just sit right down here and I’ll take my unsterilized, barbaric tool and yank those tonsils right out. Need anesthesia? Well, you should have visited the saloon before you came here because that’s as close to anesthesia as you’re going to get. Well I’ll be damned, looks like we got a good bleed going where one of your tonsils used to. Let me just heat up this here tool in the wood stove and cauterize that for you.” The story as told to us by Rick, our tour guide, was so painful to listen to that one of the seniors on the tour said to me, “Sometimes the good old days weren’t all that good.” True dat Mr. Grandpa!

Next it was time to see where the cowboys got their stink off when arriving from the trail. If you were flush with cash, you could pay 15 cents for a half tub of warm water, a piece of lye soap and a clean towel. If you were strapped for cash or wanted to save your money for more important things like a soiled dove, you could save yourself 10 cents and use water that was left over from the last stinky, dirty cowboy and dry off with a towel that had been used by Lord knows how many other men. Holy Stink Balls! I won’t even use the towel my husband has used let alone from a bunch of filthy strangers! I am so spoiled.

Now that we’ve heard the gruesome tails of throat surgery and dirty cowboys, who wants to eat? Rick led us back out of the tunnels into the bright and glorious sunshine and we walked across the street to the Wolf Hotel, which was built in the late 1800’s. The dining room in the hotel was once known as the most prestigious place to dine in the area. Most of us had a light lunch of delicious chicken salad sandwiches and a fruit salad while Kathryn and Tricia  dined on a green salad because they are not chicken salad Kitties. We then topped it off with the most amazing brown a la mode!

We only had 30 minutes to eat as the second half of the tour was to follow our lunch. Therefore, the pulling of the winning 50/50 ticket had to happen quickly. I found out that it doesn’t matter if it happens slow or quick, I still ain’t winning. I gave one of our guests, Stephanie, the honor of drawing the number. While we skipped the tradition of new people winning in May (that sucked for you Lori, Krista and Deborah), it resumed in full force in June with Stephanie picking her own number and walking away with 58 smackeroos! I guess she has us all to thank for paying her Kitty dues! You’re welcome.

After lunch, Chris, the owner of the Wolf Hotel, started the tour of the hotel in the dining room. I was preoccupied with gawd knows what so I didn’t catch the entire story, but there was something about a man who shot himself in that very dining room and you can still see the hole where the bullet went through his head and into the tin ceiling. Sure seems like people tend to want to shoot themselves in Ellinwood!

We then were introduced to Miss Sally who has been a fixture of the Wolf Hotel for several decades. The story goes that prior to Chris buying the hotel a few years ago, this was the home to an antique store for 30 years. Miss Sally, who is a mannequin, was essentially the “We’re Open” sign as she would be placed outside to let everyone know the store was open for business. When Chris purchased the hotel to bring it back to its former glory, Miss Sally came with the deal and she is present for all the events that are held at the hotel. After placing a Kitty bandana on her pretty little plaster head, we appointed her as an honorary Krome Kitty and all gathered around her to have our picture taken to commemorate the occasion.

We then proceeded with our tour of the hotel by seeing what would have been at one time the underground laundry room for the hotel and other businesses that were part of the underground tunnel system, to include the library and saloon. It was interesting to hear the story of how people like Maureen, who just HAD to have a stiff drink every now and then, ignored the Prohibition laws by calling alcoholic drinks by a different name. You could have a shot of “coffee”, “lemonade’ or “giggle juice.” Just like Maureen, these people had no problem whatsoever with being “over served.”

We then proceeded to the top floor of the hotel to take a peek at the sleeping rooms which were all furnished with antique pieces from the era when the Wolf Hotel was a thriving hotel. Wouldn’t you know it?  In one of the rooms, there was a framed article and well, whaddya know? Right there in black and white, was a picture of Kathryn’s kinfolk! Actually, it was her husband’s kinfolk, and the picture was of his great-grandparents. Kathryn had told me while we were planning this trip that her husband’s family spent a lot of time in Ellinwood and this right here proved it! Several of us counted the number of beds in the hotel and we concluded that yes, this would be perfect for a Kitty Overnighter! We could “giggle juice” ourselves silly in the saloon and then stumble up the stairs and fall into one of the antique beds. Brilliant!

Following the tour, we all settled up our tab and bid our farewell to Chris, Beth (his beloved volunteer) and Miss Sally. It was time to head back to Wichita. As we were leaving, Chris called out, “You all come back now, ya hear!” Oh, you can count on that! Motel 6 might leave the lights on for ya, but they ain’t got an underground saloon!

Those on board for the “Being Forced Underground” Road Trip were Queenie, Lady, Lori (or is it Corn Cob?), AliKat, Tink, River, Moonshine, PonyGirl, Sycho Suz, BatKat, da Vinci, Half Pint, Squirrel, Star, Ice, Wrench, Winer and guests who became members, Stephanie and Tresny.

Janice – KKMC Founder

 

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Tutus and High Tea-May 20, 2018

A casino. That’s what my house sounded like the morning of May 20th with my phone going off like a slot machine. If it wasn’t ding, ding, dinging with text messages, it was ring, ring ringing with phone calls. If it wasn’t ding, ding dinging, or ring, ring, ringing, it was ping, ping, pinging with Facebook posts. What was causing all this commotion? The weather. If it wasn’t raining at my house, it was raining at another Kitty’s house. So, after consulting the weather app on my phone and talking to Suz, who consulted a weather app on her phone, we came up with Plan B, which was to move the meet time back one hour. We would then re-consult the weather apps and make a decision to either go for it or reinstate the Kitty Kar Club. As the new departure time neared, it still wasn’t looking good for going by motorcycle so Plan C was launched. Plan C meant calling the Tea Room to see if we could come an hour later (which they happily agreed to) and delay our departure by yet another hour and kitty paws crossed, the rain would be out of the area by then. Why were we working so hard to make this work, you ask? Because it was Tutu Day and tutus in a car just ain’t as fun and crazy as tutus on a motorcycle AND we could see that once the rain moved out of the area in the morning, it would be dry the rest of the day. So, after more cups of coffee and tea than anyone thought they would have time to consume, 16 Kitties were on their way to the Park City QuikTrip. Unfortunately, Kathryn, who was coming from Hutchinson, had to leave before Plan C was announced so she made the wet, cold ride way before everyone else and moseyed on over to a donut shop to wait for the rest of the wet, cold Kitties. Lori, who was completely geared up, sitting in her living room, staring at the front door, and watching the minutes slowly tick by until she could leave, jumped at the chance to join Kathryn as soon she heard Kathryn was already in Park City. Maybe Lori’s Road Name should be Gung Ho!

While I ran into light rain on the way to the Park City QT, it wasn’t raining IN Park City. I patted myself on the back and said to myself, “We outsmarted that stupid rain and planned this so darn perfectly!” As I pulled alongside a gas pump to fill ‘er up, there was Lori sitting on a stack of firewood. “What are you doing just sitting there?”, I asked. “Can’t you tell?”, she responded. “I’m a bump on a log!” OK, now I’m thinking Lori’s Road Name should be Wackado!

Right on time Kitty after Kitty came pouring into the parking lot, each adorned with their beautiful tutus! Do rain suits and/or chaps go with tutus? Who cares! We all were beautiful and strutted around like we absolutely knew it! Suz, who had made five, yes I said FIVE, tutus for other Kitties (and one for herself), delivered them in the most adorable Kitty bags. She was so excited to show everyone her other most adorable Kitty thing, but in a moment of panic, she thought she had left it at home. Fortunately, her brain kicked into gear and crisis averted – she found it! Kitty glasses! Obviously, she didn’t learn in grade school if you bring something for yourself, you have to bring enough for everyone. Because you were so busy making six tutus, we’ll forgive you Suz….this time! Not to be outdone, there were two other Kitties who upped their game with fun accessories. Dawn sported fancy schmancy kitty ears and Bobbie looked like a Fairy Godmother in her tiara and waving about her magic wand, granting wishes for a dry ride.

With everyone present and accounted for (and Krista saying go on without me, I’ll catch up), we fluffed up our tutus and got ready to roll with Kathryn in the lead and Linda riding sweep. I think we might have gone five miles when our perfectly designed plan fell apart. Sure, we had let the rain pass in Park City, but before we got to Newton, we ran right smack into it. Not only was it raining, it was COLD! Kari and Bobbie were caging it due to some back issues Kari was having and Bobbie’s commitment to No Kitty Left Behind, and I had visions of them all warm and toasty and most importantly, DRY. I was already a little envious over Bobbie’s tiara, but now I was downright GREEN with envy! Fortunately, the rain didn’t last the entire trip. Unfortunately, the cold did. By the time we arrived in Abilene, we were frozen Kitties and I sure hoped that tea in the Tea Room was good and hot. Perhaps we should have worn our fleece-lined tutus!

Kathryn led us right to the door of the First Lady Tea Room and after Suz and I stripped Lori (of her rainsuit! Geez, get your minds out of the gutter you naughty Kitties!), we all filed in and bee-lined it to the rest room. All those cups of coffee and tea were screaming to get out! We browsed around the lovely antique store which was right outside the Tea Room and eventually made our way to our tables. I’ve never had the opportunity to go to a tea party, but this is exactly how I imagined it would look like. Everything was exquisitely displayed with the most charming dishes and serving pieces. This definitely was the prettiest, fanciest lunch the Kitties had ever had the pleasure of enjoying, which might explain why Linda didn’t know how to act all gentle and ladylike. Not realizing her dainty tea cup wasn’t like a hefty mug at Flo’s Diner, she snapped that pretty little handle right off. I sure hope that wasn’t some expensive antique or you’re gonna have a lot of dishes to wash to pay that off Linda! The gracious owner and our host, Sarah, happily replaced her tea cup with another one, but henceforth, Linda refused to touch the handle. Wise decision Linda.

Our five-course meal started with a fruit kabob, scone and some sort of dipping cream for the fruit that quite honestly, I could have dipped a dog biscuit in and would have loved it. The second course was a dollop of red potato salad served in champagne glasses. Who knew you could use liquor glasses for anything other than, well….liquor?? Then came the main course of finger sandwiches which were chicken salad, cucumber and cream cheese, and apricot jam with almond butter on raisin bread. I think Linda felt a little more comfortable with this course since she could eat with her fingers and didn’t have to touch any of the dishes. I know we all felt more comfortable that she didn’t have to touch any of the dishes! Then came our sorbet palate cleanser served in egg cups with teeny tiny spoons that all had some sort of decoration on the top. Some were state names, some were President profiles and some just had fancy tops. All of them were darling! Like Linda, we just can’t take Bobbie anywhere nice. Not wanting to leave a single bit of sorbet behind, she picked up her egg cup and stuck her tongue in it and lapped it up like a hungry kitty. Now, she might tell you that I told her to do that, but don’t believe her. They’re all lies – lies I tell you! And last but certainly not least, were the desserts! A chocolate covered strawberry served in a dish that had been repurposed from something else, such as a tea bag holder or a little metal basket, cream puffs and a piece of chocolate cake. While everything was served in small portions, we filled our tummies and had cup after cup of delicious tea. The whole experience was delightful! From the beautiful tables settings, to the lovely dishes, to the delectable food, to the lively conversations, to the laughs we shared. An absolutely perfect lunch!

While we were eating our small portions, Suz got a text from Krista who said she had just arrived in Abilene. Given that the Tea Room was inside a building that wasn’t noticeably marked, I offered to go out and wait for her and wave her down. There I am standing on the corner in all my tutu fabulousness when I hear the roar of a motorcycle. Wrongly assuming that there can only be one motorcycle out on a cold day like this and it must be Krista, I started wildly waving it down. As it got closer and closer, I notice that it’s not Krista at all and in fact, it’s not even a girl! I’m pretty sure that biker dude thought I was way too crazy for him to stop to get to know better. Smart guy that biker dude. I made my mind up then and there, I was not waving first. Sure, it might not be the friendliest greeting for Krista, but fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Pretty soon, I see a bike coming my way. I resisted the urge to wave and kept my arms firmly planted at my side. Then I saw it….a wave! It’s Krista and I started waving like a tutu-clad lunatic! Let’s just stop right here a minute and give some mad props to Krista. She rode in rain that was worse than what we had and she shivered the whole way to Abilene and she did it all alone! Since we already have a Hard Core Kitty, Krista’s Road name may have to be True Grit!

As soon as Krista got in her seat and started warming up with some tea, Bobbie and I started pimping 50/50 tickets. With 16 Kitties, this was going to be a pot worth winning! Not that I would know and not that I would care. I would take any size pot. Once again it was proven that even if I was in a pot with just one other Kitty, I would still lose. We gave our hostess, Sarah, the honors of drawing the ticket and we all were confident it would be either Lori, Deborah,  or Krista who would win given our history of first time Kitties walking away with the loot. However, unfortunately for those three Kitties, the tradition didn’t hold up and Linda came away $45.00 richer! Hey Sarah, seems to me you could have Linda pay for that tea cup now!

Then it was time to get some group photos and we all know what an ordeal that can be and our first group photo was no exception. Suz wanted to get a picture with all the Kitties for whom she had made tutus. After seven attempts with Kitties looking everywhere but at the camera, we finally came up with a good one. Paula, who was high on catnip, was pirouetting in every single one of them and then even gave us a solo performance. I’m anxious to know how many times Paula practiced that pirouette in the privacy of her bathroom mirror. Well done Paula!

After settling up the tab and saying our thank yous and good-byes to Sarah and her assistant, we went outside to get a couple more group shots. Holy Toledo! We did it! We got not one, but TWO group pictures on the first try! Now that I know we can do it, my expectations are high so don’t let me down you frisky felines!

After making a quick gas stop, we pointed our noses south and made the journey home. Just like we predicted, there was no rain on the return trip and while it was a smidge warmer, it was still a pretty cool ride home. However, it was so much more pleasant than the “going to” ride.

I know the “going to” ride sucked, but I hope the other 15 Kitties can agree that it was so worth it to tutu our way to Abilene on our bikes where we could be loud and proud. Ken, who is a friend to many of the Kitties, said something on my Facebook post that I thought summed up the day and our group the best. He said, “There are a thousand reasons NOT to do something like what you did today. It takes someone special to simply emerge and attack the moment. You guys killed it. Putting on your big girl panties is in your DNA.” Thank you to 15 Kitties for putting on your big girl panties and coming out to kill it!

And thank you to Suz and Kathryn for planning such a special way to celebrate our Second Annual Tutu Day! You guys knocked it out of the park on this one! Kathryn, thank you for leading us to Abilene. I know the pressure of wondering do we keep going or pull over was great, but as always, you did a fantastic job!

Those who attended the “Tutus and High Tea” Road Trip were Queenie, Shorty, Lori, Lady, Tink, Sugar, Star, Lil Pibble, Moonshine, Glitter, Squirrel, Sycho, BatKat, Ice, da Vinci, Winer, and Krista.

 

Janice. KKMC Founder

 

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All Aboard for Buhler-April 21, 2018

Welcome to the Krome Kitty Car Club!  That’s right Kitties, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are no longer a motorcycle club.  We have become a Car Club.  For the third time in a row, we have been forced to leave our bikes tucked in our garages and sought shelter in our cars.  It all started last October when we TRIED to ride to Peabody and it rained…rained hard!  Then fast forward to the April Meow Mixer when we TRIED to ride to Five Guys Burgers and Fries and it snowed!  And then on April 21st when we TRIED to ride our bikes to Buhler, it did what it hasn’t done since last October on the Peabody ride – it rained!  Anybody see a pattern here?  I swear Mother Nature must have a vendetta against the Krome Kitties because it never snows…it never rains…except on a Krome Kitty day.  However, when life gives the Kitties lemons, we ask for tequila and salt!  Ain’t a little bit of rain and cold temperatures gonna keep these girls from having a darn fine day!

Denise offered to pick me up at my house and drive to the QuikTrip in Park City.  While she was driving, I real quick texted everyone who was going and said, “Because it’s raining, let’s all meet up inside the QT for car assignments.”  Upon arriving, we all gathered around the ATM and coffee machines so everyone could money up and juice up and try to be as inconspicuous as possible.  We were doing a pretty good job of that UNTIL Suz opened up her brightly colored, ruffle trimmed skull umbrella.  Nothing says “blending in” like an open umbrella inside a dry building.  But then again, when has Suz EVER blended in? (winkwink)  Because the umbrella caused enough of a spectacle, I announced that the 50/50 tickets would be sold at the restaurant.  I took roll call and once everyone was accounted for, I assigned riders to the drivers who were Tricia, Suz, Kathryn and Dawn. I called All Aboard and we were on our way to the bright city lights of Buhler, Kansas!

Our lead driver, Kathryn, drove us right to the door of The Mustard Seed and we all filed inside to be greeted by some mighty friendly staff who seated us at a loooonnng table for fifteen.  There was only one other table in the room and I assumed they put us in this back room all by our lonesome because they heard how rowdy the Kitties could be and they didn’t want their other diners to be disturbed.  Not long after I set up my Kitty Boutique and we all got settled in our seats, in walks an older couple who sat at that very table, which was in VERY close proximity to those rowdy Kitties.  I immediately looked over at them and said, “You’re probably going to regret that decision to sit there.  We can get kinda loud…actually very loud.”  “That’s OK, we don’t mind and we can get kinda loud ourselves”, they responded.  That was all I needed to hear to know that this was one cool Grandma and Grandpa and they were going to be very fun neighbors.

After ordering our food and Bobbie pimped the 50/50 tickets, I started passing out the Road Name patches which were hot off the sewing machine.  That brought about our next order of business.  We needed to find just the right Road Name for Lily. If you haven’t met Lily, she is super sweet and kind, generous, a huge dog over, a devout Christian, a Grandma, and gets carsick if she sits in the backseat of a car.  Those were the criteria we were working with to find a name for her.  Some of the names that we bantered about were:

Joy, Grace, Dawg, Ruff, Candy (cuz she’s so sweet but she ain’t a stripper so we quickly abandoned that one), and UpChuck or just Chuck (cuz she gets carsick but who wants their name to basically be puke?)  Finally, Kari  suggested Sugar.  That’s it!  It’s perfect!  Lily is sweet like sugar and it’s adorable so Sugar it is!

We then decided that Amy’s Road Name is going to be Wrong Way (due to the fact that we made a couple of turnarounds on a ride she led us on a couple of years back) and Paula’s Road Name will be FP (due to the moniker of F@%K Paula I gave her at the overnighter last year, but we can’t actually put the F bomb on a patch. Well, we could, but we aren’t.)

Of course, because we are rowdy Kitties, Grandma and Grandpa next door heard the entire conversation about road names and they also approved of the name Sugar.  Grandma then said, “You know, we have Road Names, too.”  “You do??  Well, let’s hear them then!”  Grandma said, “I’m Tumbleweed and this here is Straight Shooter.”  I then responded, “Is Tumbleweed because you drink so many of them?”  She just laughed and laughed and said, “No, I didn’t even know there WAS a drink called a Tumbleweed.”  Grandma we got some schooling to do with you.  We know ALL about alcohol, and none more than our very own Maureen aka Moonshine, who had just announced she had spent her last $5.00 on beer the night before.  It’s important to have priorities, right Moonshine?!  Anyway, back to Tumbleweed…she explained she got her name because she was from Oklahoma.  “So, seriously….it has NOTHING to do with alcohol??”  “Nope, not even a little.”

And then the time had come for the 50/50 drawing.  I counted out the cold hard cash and there was $80.00, so some lucky Kitty (not me) was going home $40.00 richer (not me…again.)  I gave Tumbleweed the honors of drawing the ticket and the new member phenomenon struck again!  Kim, who was attending her very first Road Trip, won that dang pot!  I should be keeping a list of how many times a new member won on her first ride. On second thought, let’s just make a list, shall we?  It all started with Amy when she joined in October 2014 and attended that last ride of the season…and won.  Then there was a guest rider in 2016 by the name of Dominque Kadatzke (who can forget THAT experience on the Misadventures of Moline?!) who only rode with us that one time, but that one time was enough to send her home with the winnings.  Then there was  Brenda, who rode her first ride in April 2017 and won; then Chris’ boyfriend (which is close enough in my book) won the Tom Kat drawing last September, which was her first ride; followed by Annette who joined us for lunch for the first time in Peabody last October and…you guessed it, won the pot.  And now  Kim!  That’s SIX, yes I said SIX!, first time KKMC riders who have been winners!  For crying out loud people!  I’ve been riding with this Club for 14 years and I HAVE NEVER WON!!  What’s a girl gotta do?  Quit and come back as a new member?  I know what you all are thinking….how about you quit and NOT come back?  Hey!  I’ve got feelings, ya know!

After I licked my wounds and sold a few things from the Kitty Boutique, it was time to settle up the tab at the restaurant and say our good-byes to Tumbleweed and Straight Shooter.  Because they were such great sports and neighbors, I made Tumbleweed an honorary Krome Kitty and gave her a KKMC spot pin in her favorite color – orange.  That just made me love her a little bit more.

We got some shopping to do!  Some of us went to Adrian’s A to Z (which by the way, they literally have everything from A to Z in that there store) and a few wandered over to the thrift store across the street.  Of course, our Bling Queen, Kim, zeroed in like a kitty to catnip on the shiny baubles at Adrian’s.  After we took advantage of the 20% off one item at Adrian’s we met back up at 1:00 to start making our way south. We had more shopping to do!

It rained all the way home and it brought back the not so pleasant memories of our very wet ride home from Milford Lake last year.  We were a lot more comfy in our warm, dry cars although I commented several times what a great ride it would have been if we could have been on our bikes.  Someday, we WILL be motorcycle riders again.  I hope.

Those of us who didn’t have commitments to get home to attended Sgt. C’s Grand Re-Opening to see their new shop and take advantage of the 50% off everything sale . Maureen bought a new vest so she could display her Road Name and Member Number patches.  She then proceeded to buy about a dozen other patches to fill up all the blank space.  Pace yourself Moonshine!  Oh wait…Moonshine pace herself?  Now that’s funny!

So, our first ride of the 14th season was not on our bikes, but regardless of the transportation, we had fun, we laughed, we jibbed and jabbed with each other and we enjoyed each other’s friendship.  Despite the dreary cold weather, that’s still an awesome day!

Huge Kitty Kisses to those who offered up their cars and gas to transport everyone to Buhler and back. Kathryn, Dawn, Suz and Tricia – you ladies are the best!

Those who attended the “All Aboard for Buhler” ride were Queenie, Half Pint, River, Sugar, Squirrel, da Vinci, Tink, Star, PonyGirl, Lady, Lil Pibble, Moonshine, Sycho, Ice, and BatKat.

Janice, KKMC Founder

 

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Rolling with the Punches – October 14, 2017

ADJUST: verb: ad-just: to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions.)

And that  was the word of the day on Saturday, October 14th. For the days leading up to the Kitty Road Trip, I studied not one, not two, but three weather apps, hoping that someone, anyone, would give me better news. I celebrated with each minor drop in the chance of rain, but while it may have improved in the morning, it worsened in the afternoon. If it improved in Wichita, it worsened in Peabody. With the soggy return trip from Milford Lake still fresh in everyone’s minds, I knew that I had to get this right. To knowingly take a pack of 17 Kitties out with a better than 50/50 shot of getting wet would result in an unquestionable dethroning from my Queen Kitty status. Done. Kaput. Never again to be heralded as the Queen that I think I am. So, I self-imposed a Friday evening deadline for making the call. Option A: we ride. Option B: we ride….in a cage. As I was about to start my long post on Facebook about my final decision, I got a text from Paula who said and I quote, “Hey, you Black Kat of the Krome Kitties, you did it again! You’re like Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoon, but instead of a dust cloud you bring a raincloud everywhere you go. Well, I for one want nothing to do with you and your stupid wet crap! Call me a Puss but I’m out!” Ok, I may have taken a great deal of poetic license on that quote, but I heard her loud and clear and I took that as a sign that I was doing the right thing by pulling the plug on the conventional way of Kitty riding. We’re going by cars bitches! And to my great pleasure, every single Kitty who had signed up to motorscoot their way to Peabody agreed to pile in cars and caravan their way to Peabody! You guys rock!!

Of course, then I started second guessing myself and I especially had judgement anxiety when on Saturday morning, it was all bright and shiny outside. After a quick check on my not one, not two, but three weather apps, I saw that the chances of rain had actually decreased! What. The. Hell? Oh well, what’s done is done and there’s no turning back now so onward we go, but for the first time in Kitty history, I was actually HOPING it would rain! I needed validation! Needed it bad!

And I didn’t have to wait long to get it! As Alice, Denise and I were heading north on Highway 135 to meet at the Park City QuikTrip, it was very dark and stormy looking ahead of us – right where we were going. That’s when I knew that I was just as smart as I thought I was – brilliant even. Not to mention that my Kitty crown was safe from confiscation, so there’s that, too.

After all the Kitties arrived at the QuikTrip in their non-traditional Kitty Road Trip clothing of capris and flip flops and we all gathered around the non-traditional Kitty Road Trip mode of transportation of Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, Suz started pimping the 50/50 tickets. We chatted a bit and then I started assigning passengers to cars and did my best to keep Alice from getting in the wrong line. After potty breaks and drink purchases, we were on the way to the metropolis of Peabody USA!

We hardly even realized we were in Peabody before we were pulling into the Coneburg Grill and Pub. What was the very first thing every single one of us saw? The parking lot! It was perfectly suitable for Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, but for motorcycles…not so much. There was about a postage size spot of pavement and the rest was potholed gravel, which by then were water filled potholes from an earlier rain. Shelley sized it up perfectly when she said, “Every single one of us would be crowding into that wee bit of pavement over there had we been on bikes.” True dat Shelley!

Just after we got seated, we were joined by Amy, who drove in from Newton, and Annette, who resides in none other than Peabody. This was Annette’s very first introduction to the Kitties and in fact, she officially joined on Saturday. So how did she hear about the Krome Kitties way out in Peabody, KS you ask? Well, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, a Kitty named Alice was at Hartman Arena purchasing Willie Nelson concert tickets. Right there in line with her was a gal who had the most darling Harley Davidson handbag. Not one to ever let a sweet handbag escape her attention (and trust me, I know this for fact; I saw the tubs of purses Alice moved to Kansas from Colorado!), Alice commented to this gal, who just wanted to buy a couple of Willie Nelson tickets, about how lovely her purse was. “Why thank you”, she says. To which Alice says, “Do you ride, I mean like your own bike?” “Why I sure do, Nosy Stranger. And since your hellbent on knowing all about me, I just moved here from New York and am ever so lonely since I don’t know a single soul here other than my Mom and sister.” To which Alice aka Nosy Stranger replies, “Well, have I got a group for you! You see, there’s this here group called the Krome Kitties and oh my gosh, they are so awesome and friendly and fun and wild and crazy! And don’t even get me started on the Founder, Janice. She is SO amazing and pretty and smart – I mean like, she’s the total package!” (In full disclosure, this is a very loose interpretation of the conversation, but it’s my story so I get to say (or embellish) however I darn well please!) By then the New Yorker, who Alice learned was named Annette, was either too scared to say no or too intrigued to say no, shared her contact information and agreed to meet this girl biker gang for lunch on Saturday right there in her hometown. And they all lived happily ever after. The End. So that’s how a girl who just moved here from New York one month ago found 25 new friends right there in her own backyard. And for those of you who weren’t able to make the trip Saturday, let me tell you that Annette is super friendly and super fun and super excited about all the adventures she’s about to have with her new friends. As we were chatting over lunch, Annette said her sister has lived in Wichita for years and doesn’t really have friends. I said, “Well, you tell your sister you’ve only been here a month and you’ve already made 25 new friends!”

After chatting and eating and chatting some more, the long-awaited moment had come. Who was not going to win the 50/50 pot (me and Nellie immediately came to mind.) There was $43.00 up for grabs and as much as I would love to have $43.00, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never, ever, not in this lifetime, win the pot. I gave Annette the honors of pulling the ticket and when she read the number, all you heard were crickets. Not one Kitty claimed it. Well, Linda tried to but she was a liar liar pants on fire. My heart skipped a beat as I thought maybe, just maybe, my time had come and it was me! I hadn’t even bothered to pull my tickets out. I mean, why should I? It isn’t like I even thought I had a chance to win. Just as I was fumbling in my purse to see if I actually had the winning ticket, Annette dashed all my hopes said, “Oh my gosh, it’s me! I have that number!” I tried, really really tried, to not resent Annette just a little bit for her stupid, uh I mean good, luck and we all were dumbfounded as this was like the umpteenth person who won on her very first outing with the Kitties. So, I guess the moral of the story is I gotta quit the Kitties and then rejoin to win that dadgum pot! Is that what you want?? Please don’t answer that….

And then the most amazing thing happened! All of us are still trying to wrap our heads around this monumental event, but as hard as it is to believe, I promise you, it’s true. Brace yourself….are you ready? OK, here goes….Paula doesn’t have a flip phone anymore! That’s right, she now has a brand spanking new IPhone! We’re all absolutely flabbergasted over this major life event and now she can not only TAKE pictures, she can actually SEE them on the bigger than a one inch square screen! Congratulations, Paula, and welcome to the world of smart phones!

After commandeering our waitress, and the only waitress in the joint, to take our group picture, we all made our way to the door to start our long journey to the Flint Hills Gypsies store. Why, what do we have here? Rain! I mean like real rain! Not that drizzling stuff but rain that made every single one of us so glad to not be struggling with rain suits and sitting on wet motorcycles. Finally! Finally, I get to be a hero and not a zero! I guessed right on cancelling the motorcycle part of our day and I hope in some small, tiny, miniscule way I’ve been redeemed from the 143rd St. gravel debacle in August.

We made our way through town, which took like 4.5 minutes, to the Gypsies store, while we listened to the sound of raindrops pitter pattering on the car. We did our ladylike run to the door and Holy Moth Balls! this place was jammed packed full of vintage everything! Everyone scattered in different directions to scope out what little treasures they just had to take home with them. Colleen, Maureen and I proved that you are never too old to play dress up and tried on the same vintage dress and yet not one of us bought it. I’m still kind of regretting that; it would have been so perfect for the Bridesmaid Christmas Party. As we were meandering through the store there was a big clap of thunder, followed by darkness. The lights had gone out in the store right when I was about to go to the bathroom…..in a room with no windows. Thankfully, technology came to my aid and my phone, now turned flashlight, lit the way so I in fact, peed in the toilet and not the sink or some other vintage pot in the bathroom.

After we hugged our good-byes to each other, we all piled back in our Toyotas, Ford and Chevys for the dry (you’re welcome!) ride home because you see, it never….stopped….raining….all the way home. So, on October 14, 2017 Mother Nature gave us a one two punch, but we brushed ourselves off and rolled with the punches and made a gloomy, wet day another fun Krome Kitty day with a bonus. We didn’t have to navigate on that teensy weensy parking lot!

That’s a wrap and drop the mic! We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added six, yes I said SIX, new Kitties (Sue, Tricia, Mona, Sherri, Chris and Annette); we patched ourselves up with member numbers; we added our mascot, Kit E. Kat, to the litter; we gave a whole new meaning to Kitties Rock with Kitty Rocks; we rolled out a kick-ass website; we tu-tued our way to Burrton, KS in April and a new opening ride tradition was born; we acted like Pioneer women at the Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK in May; we Zoo’d it with the Wichita Family Crisis Center Moms and Kiddos in June; we tried to go to Wilson, KS in June, but ended up in Dexter and Winfield and no, I wasn’t leading!; we escorted a croquet champion in July; we tried to go to Wakita, OK in July but found ourselves in Anthony, KS because sometimes family situations are more important; we got gravel road experience and camped out (Janice style) at Milford Lake in August and nearly drowned coming home; in the same month, we dished up ice cream for the Moms and kiddos of the Wichita Family Crisis Center and over-stuffed their van with badly needed items; we Tom Katted our way to Elk Falls in September (which is ironic since we Tom Katted our way to Cottonwood Falls last year. I guess we better find another Falls town in 2018!); and we made the best of a bad weather situation by driving to Peabody, KS in October. A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 13th riding season one to remember. A MASSIVE thank you to Nellie and Maureen for finding us fun and interesting places to go to this season! The Kitties rock in so many ways, but the friendships we’ve made and strengthened has to be at the top of that list. Winter activities will be announced soon so make time to stay connected and until we ride again in April 2018, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the Rolling with the Punches Road Trip were Janice, Paula, Annette, Shelley, Kathryn, Melaina, Alice, Bobbie, Chris, Maureen, Christine, Denise, Colleen, Suz, Nellie, Linda, and Amy.

 

Janice, KKMC Founder

 

Elk Falls (2)

No Falling at Elk Falls – September 10, 2017

Here’s what I’ve learned….be careful what you wish for. I really wanted to have a good turnout for the Tom Kat ride so I was encouraging, asking, and begging people to go. When the RSVPs started coming in, the list got longer and longer and longer. We had 15 Kitties signed up to go, which is a nice sized group, but not like crazy big. However, these 15 Kitties are so proud of their Kitty Klub that they invited lots o’family and friends to join them. By the time the deadline came and went, we had 40 people signed up to go! Holy Fur Balls! That’s a huge group of big bad bikers, and in fact the largest in KKMC history, and now the pressure was on…the pressure to get everyone there without any turnarounds; the pressure to keep everyone together; the pressure that the restaurant could even accommodate that large of a crowd since we had originally told them it would be about 20 people; and the pressure to get everyone in the teeny tiny parking lot at Elk Falls, which isn’t even really a parking lot all but rather just a dead-end road. But more on that later.

Then as Sunday, September 10th, approached, a couple of cancellations and/or changes came in. First up was Melaina who contacted me to say that her entourage of six had a scheduling problem so they were going to just meet us in Sedan for lunch. OK, that’s six less people to lead down the road. Then Christine and her Tom Kat, Dorrin, had to cancel because the daggum guy who was working on her bike STILL didn’t have it done. I can tell you one thing, I would NOT want to be that guy when he told her he didn’t have it done. Holy smokes! He deserved and got an old-fashioned butt chewing! Because Christine wasn’t going, neither was her brother, Mike, and nephew, Zack, who had signed up to go as her guests. OK, that’s four more less people so we’re up to 10 fewer people. Then the morning of the ride, Kari texted me to say that while she was still sending her Tom Kat, Daryl, she was a no go. OK, that’s now 11 less people going down the road. Whew! That seems a lot more doable now. I know that sounds like I’m glad these people didn’t go and that’s not the case at all and we super missed Christine, Dorrin, Mike, Zack and Kari, but I was freaking out people! That said, it made me proud and pleased as a Momma Kat that you all think enough of KKMC that you would want to invite your family and friends to join us on the Tom Kat ride and give them a glimpse into just how much fun we have. So on with the ride…..

We met at the Quik Trip at 143rd and E. Kellogg and while I was braced for some poking and jabbing that I imagined would go something like this, “Janice, isn’t this the same Quik Trip that we left from on the overnight trip and you led us down about 20 miles of dirt road? Huh, Janice? Isn’t it?” Well, all I gotta say is you love me, you really, really love me! Not one Kitty brought up that painful memory and for that, I thank you! Bike after bike after bike came swarming into the parking lot, each one more beautiful than the last. Man, these Kitties, Tom Kats and friends got some awful purty bikes! After Linda pimped a boat load of 50/50 tickets and we did the usual meet and greet, I gathered the group in a circle to give them the lowdown. First order of business was to break the group into two with my Tom Kat, Greg, leading the first group and Nellie and her Tom Kat, JT, leading the second in the Whiz Bang Machine. Greg had assured me that he had scoped out the route and he was good to go. So, you can imagine how my heart just about dropped out of my chest when, in front of God and everyone, he said, “Does anybody know how to find the actual falls in Elk Falls?” WHAT?? You’re just now trying to figure this out? What happened to that confidence you had shown the night before? What happened to that, “I got this” from earlier this morning? Well, one of the good things about having a crowd of bikers in front of you is someone has more than likely been there done that and thankfully, that was the case that Sunday morning. Some kind, more INFORMED, soul spoke up and said, “There’s a sign there in town where you turn.” Greg’s response, “OK, I just don’t want no bitchin’ if we have to do a turnaround.” Oh Lord, help us all……

And He did. Greg led us right to Elk Falls and then right to the parking “lot” of the falls. Let’s talk about that parking lot, shall we? Way back in 2005, the Kitties went to Elk Falls when the Club was in its infancy and I was in my infancy of riding. As we were planning this latest trip to Elk Falls, I recalled that hairy scary parking “situation”, which it will henceforth be referred to as because it ain’t no lot, as being pretty much terrifying. For those of you who weren’t on the trip, let me describe the setting. Once you turn off the road in Elk Falls to get to the falls, it turns to gravel. You drive a bit on the gravel where it dead ends at a bridge. The dead end, my Feline Friends, is the parking situation. And what does dead end mean? That’s right, you have to turn yourself around to get back out….on gravel. Back in 2005, I wasn’t at all used to riding on gravel and that drive to the parking situation seemed to be VERY long and it scared the bejeebers out of me. And then there was the actual parking. I remember I got turned around, but it wasn’t at all pretty. Now fast forward to 2017, and yep, there’s that gravel road, but thanks to the On Gravel We Travel Road Trip, it didn’t seem to be nearly as long or nearly as horrifying. However, I’m sad to say that the getting turned around part had not improved one iota. There was no way I was going to make a smooth U-turn in that narrow little gravel space, so I decided walking my bike around was the best course of action. Of course, the beauty of being the lead rider is absolutely everyone gets to witness you making this pitiful attempt and as a matter of fact, let me recount for you the play by play that Dawn’s Tom Kat, Gene, was giving to Dawn. It went a little something like this….”Wow. I’ve heard of baby steps, but those are infant steps. Well, she just killed her bike. No, I guessed she didn’t. Oh look, now she’s fallen into a rut. Oh look, she got it out. Well there you go, now she’s sliding. Good grief, how much longer is this going to take? Should I go help her? I can’t watch this train wreck any longer. Finally, she’s almost there…getting closer…why is she laughing? Please make this nightmare end!” So long story made not very short, I did get turned around but here’s what I’ve learned: 1) After 14 years of riding, I’m much more comfortable riding on gravel. 2) After 14 years of riding, I still suck at parking and am especially sucky on gravel. 3) When you know you are going to have to make a U-turn on gravel, make sure you’re the very last bike in so there are no witnesses.

After some got turned around and others just stopped and decided to defer the agony of turning around to when they left, we all started scattering. There were those who made the small hike down to the falls and some who decided seeing the falls from the bridge was good enough. We took lots of couple and family photos; we witnessed Suz tip toeing out onto the falls and then witnessed her son, Brett, having to go save her from herself; we witnessed five people standing at the edge of the embankment staring into the water like they had never seen anything like it in all their lives; and we got to finally meet Paula’s Tom Kat and caught a glimpse of her making out with him. I don’t know about you, but the whole thing seemed a little filmy to me.

After we shutterbugged our way to exhaustion, we biked back up and left that parking situation forever in our distant memories. Next stop, Sedan! Once again, Greg came through and led us right to Granny’s Green Door Café and what do we have here? The final sweep rider was Nellie in her Whiz Bang Machine and when she arrived in Sedan, right there in the passenger seat was Kit E. Kat! That frisky little puss hitched a ride along with Nellie and said it ain’t a record breaking Tom Kat ride without me! Well, come on then you big headed Kitty Kat!

As we walked up to the Green Door Café’s green door, we were greeted with a sparkly gold and silver sign welcoming the Krome Kitties. Well, ain’t that just the friendliest small-town welcome ever?! We also hooked up with Melaina and her band of bikers and one car rider. Melaina’s Tom Kat, Tim, isn’t a biker but after nine Tom Kat rides, he put on his riding gear of shorts and a t-shirt, jumped in the car and said what the heck, let’s just see what this Kitty Klub is all about. Well, Tim was so down with the Krome Kitties, he even impersonated Kit E. Kat!

All my fretting about the restaurant being able to accommodate such a large crowd was for naught as they were set up for us; they were super friendly; and they were as fast as jack rabbits in getting food to a lot of hungry bikers. Of course, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind while we were chowing on fried chicken and giving Suz’s Tom Kat, Jim, and Kari’s Tom Kat, Daryl, a few quiet moments to themselves at the private corner table, and that was how much is in the 50/50 pot and I gotta have it!

These were some high stakes people! There was $165.00 in that there flamed bag which meant one lucky Kitty or Kitty guest was going home with $83.00! I kept thinking, if there ever was a time for me to win, this just HAS to be it! Kit E. Kat insisted on being the one to call the winning number, but after being told she had to play nice with others, she allowed Granny, the owner of the café, to pull the number out of the bag.  And once again, I was wrong in thinking that this just HAD to be the time I would win, because for the like bazillionth time in a row, I was a big. fat. loser. The winning ticket belonged to Chris’s guest, Mark! Not that I’m bitter or anything, but Mark, I liked you just fine at the Falls, but now, not so much. OK. Ok. I still like you, but what’s a girl gotta do to win that stinking pot?!

After the disappointing loss of the 50/50 pot, I asked the Tom Kats who had attended last year, and were gifted little plastic Tom Kats, if they remembered to bring their Tom Kats this year. There were a few who remembered and gleefully presented them. Some thought the whole thing was a bit silly but what these menfolk don’t realize is we find great delight in silliness! Of course, then we had to document these little plastic Tom Kats’ attendance by photographing them eating off Linda’s Tom Kat, Jim’s, dinner plate and flirting with Hello Kitty outside.

While the flirting was being photographed, several of the bikers who couldn’t make the 48-mile ride to Severy for the scheduled gas stop, rode down the block to a small gas station to get gas. A few members of the group decided to go ahead and head for home and others stood around chatting. After a while, Greg sent Nellie’s Tom Kat, JT, down to where I was photographing to ask how much longer it was going to be? “I don’t know JT, when everyone gets done getting gas, that’s when!” was my response, all the while JT was stepping back in quick retreat. It was reported that when JT got back to where Greg was, he said, “I ain’t asking her again. If you want to know, ask her yourself!” When Greg worked up the nerve to approach me about how much longer it would be, I pretty much let him have it with “We will go when everyone gets done getting gas! How about you just slow your roll! Huh? How about that?!” After a bit longer, Greg and probably all the other Tom Kats who aren’t accustomed to the practice of Kitties aren’t in a big hurry to get home, had had enough and said “Let’s go. Those who are still at the gas station will see we’re leaving and will fall in behind.” As we drove by the gas station, I looked over to make sure they saw we were leaving and that’s when I saw it. The bikers that I had so resolutely stood my ground with JT and Greg and said we aren’t leaving until they are done, weren’t even part of our group. Yep, total strangers. Oops, my bad.

While on the road to Severy, I was thinking about what a spectacular day it was, how grateful I am to have all these people in my life and what a perfect day it ended up being, despite my overthinking and overworrying about it for days leading up to it. What I didn’t know was it wasn’t quite as peaceful behind me. Somewhere between Sedan and Severy, an SUV driver decided this would be a good time to start fishing for something she dropped or looking at her phone or putting on make-up or whatever it was that caused her to be completely distracted and cross the center line right into our line of bikes. There were several who had to use some masterful defensive driving skills to avoid being hit head on, namely Linda and her Tom Kat, Jim; Suz and her Tom Kat, Jim; Paula; and Kari’s Tom Kat, Daryl. There may have been others, but those are the ones I’m aware of. Hey lady in the dirty SUV, how about the next time you see a big ole line of motorcycles coming at you, you not worry about whatever it was you were doing while you weren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing and that’s driving!

So that’s how the largest Tom Kat ride in Krome Kitty history went down. Thank you to all those who joined in the fun and made this day so memorable! Those on board for the No Falling at Elk Falls Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg; Chris and Mark; Maureen, Larri and Shelby; Tricia and David and guest Joe; Nellie and JT; Linda and Jim; Dawn and Gene and guests Dallas and Michelle; Suz and Jim and Brett; Daryl; Sue and Bill; Bobbie and Al; Melaina and Tim and guests Stuart and Cissy and Mike and Stacy; Paula; and Sherri.

Janice, KKMC Founder

#3

On Gravel We Travel – August 25, 2017

Settle in people, this is going to be a long one!

You know the old biker saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey?” Well, as we started the overnight trip to Milford Lake on Friday, August 25th, it was all about the destination because the beginning of the journey sucked. Sucked in an epic way. Let’s set the stage, shall we?

I had offered to lead the ride to Junction City and then Nellie would take over and get us to Milford Lake. Nine of the Kitties were to meet at the Quik Trip at 143rd St. and E. Kellogg. The Augusta girls of Suz, Nellie, Linda and Christine, who was riding shotgun with Nellie since her bike was in the shop, did not want to ride east only to have to ride back west, so we agreed the better plan would be for them to ride to El Dorado and fall in behind us as we rode into town. Since I was leading the ride, I looked at a map on the World Wide Web and saw that 143rd went north all the way to Highway 254. We would then take Highway 254 to El Dorado and then Highway 77 all the way to Junction City. I consulted with my husband, Greg, and he agreed and even encouraged me to go that route. Easy peasy, right? Uh, that would be a big fat N.O.

I blame the World Wide Web and Greg for what happened next. Both of whom should have known this was a very bad idea. We pulled out onto 143rd St. heading north and we’re riding….riding….riding…WHAT THE HELL?? Out of nowhere, we went from a nice smooth paved road to a lumpy, bumpy gravel road! At the moment it happened, I was looking in my rearview mirror to check on the string of bikers behind me and I was on the road before I could do anything about it. I knew the last thing anyone would want to do was make the dreaded U-turn on this treacherous road so onward we went. And let me tell you it went on FOREVER! So many things were running through my head, but at the top of the list was how stinking mad all those girls behind me were going to be; we were going to be late meeting the Augusta girls; and they were going to be worried. In hindsight, it was good that I was so focused on these things because the least of my worries was having to ride on this gawd awful road. I ended up getting way ahead of the rest of the pack in FINALLY reaching Highway 254 so I got there before everyone else. I immediately shot my kickstand in the down position and got off my bike to greet the angry mob that I could see coming up in a cloud of dust. After apologizing all over myself for the worst start to a journey in Krome Kitty history, we finally rolled onto the pavement we all had dreamed of for the last 15 or so minutes, which seemed more like 60. In the meantime, I got a call from Suz through my Sena system and like I knew she would be, she is wondering what the heck is going on. I was still rattled from the gravel road experience and I think some foul language might have been used. Fortunately, Suz does not have ladylike ears and totally overlooked my potty mouth. While I was on the phone with her, I see Bobbie come screaming up from behind and motioned for me to pull over. What now?? Is there a bike problem? Did something shake off a bike from the aforementioned nightmare we just lived through? After we pulled over, Alice yelled from behind me, “Your saddlebag is open!” Damn! I sure was hoping I could blame someone else for this unexpected stop and I yelled into the phone to Suz, CAN THIS BLANKETY BLANK DAY GET ANY WORSE? You can probably guess what should be inserted in the blankety blank spot. After about 10 more minutes of me, and probably everyone else, fuming and trying to calm down, we pulled into El Dorado and come hell or high water, I was not going to miss the one turn we had to make to get on Highway 77. Thankfully, I didn’t. So, I guess like the one time you finally convince your husband to do the laundry and he ruins a whole load so you will never ask him again, so goes the notion of Janice leading a ride. I screwed this up so bad, no one will ever let (make) me do that again!

After about 100 miles of uneventful riding (which we were all grateful for because we had had all the excitement we needed for one day), we pulled into Junction City’s Harley Davidson City Cycles Sales dealership. The dirt riding girls dusted themselves off and we piled into the dealership where we were greeted and treated like Rock Stars. The staff all wanted to know who this band of badass girls were; Nellie, a native of Junction City, ran into an old boyfriend (awwwkward!); cameras were pulled out to take our pictures; and credit cards were a flyin’. If we were real Rock Stars, we would have been comped on all the things that were being thrown onto the sales counter, but I guess we haven’t reached that status just yet. I made a call to Cynthia’s One Bite Delight, the lunch destination, and asked if 13 hungry Kitties could converge upon them and she said if you promise you will show up, we’ll set up for you. I pinky swore we would not let them down and would be there in about 30 minutes. Several of the girls found the perfect shirt, which I announced I already had because I got it at the last Kitty Christmas party, and now several of us have matching not-quite-a-Kitty-shirt-but-we-are-Bad-Kitties shirts. All too soon, I was herding Kitties out the door because, after all, I did pinky swear that we would be at Cynthia’s in 30 minutes. One of the staff followed us out and took several pictures in the parking lot and then walked up the road to get a few shots of us leaving. Thank you for taking such good care of us City Cycle Sales! Nellie took over the lead and drove us right to Cynthia’s One Bite Delight, where we were greeted by a not so lovely gravelly parking lot. Geez, we cannot get away from this gravel today! True to her word, the waitress had a table for 13 all set up for us and we all got ourselves situated. And that’s when I made a dreadful discovery. I couldn’t find my regular eyeglasses in my saddle bags and after a phone call to Greg, he confirmed that yes, they were indeed still sitting on the kitchen counter. Dadgumit! I really, really, really debated getting back on my bike and riding back to Wichita to get them. Suz offered to go with me if I wanted to go, but common sense prevailed and I decided riding all the way back home and then back to Milford Lake all in one day just wasn’t worth it. I would just have to wear my prescription riding glasses the entire weekend…which I hated….and made sure everyone knew it…on numerous occasions.

All sorts of different menu items were selected, like catfish, shrimp, and oxtails, and everything was delicious and as homecooked as it gets. If you ever find yourself in Junction City, please take time to eat at Cynthia’s One Bite Delight. I promise you will not regret it! After filling our bellies and chit chatting a bit, the all-important moment came. Who was walking away with some spending money?! I patiently waited for our wonderful waitress to finish taking care of the table next to us and all the while, I noticed a gal who had on the same red shirt as the waitress, sitting on a chair against a wall on her phone. When the waitress was free, I held up the flamed bag with the tickets and all I got out of my mouth was, “Would you mind drawing…..” and that’s when like she had been shot out of a cannon, the phone-talking, red-shirted gal came running over and said, “No! I wanna do it! I’m the owner and I should get to do it!” Well, I could tell she was a feisty one so I responded, “You sat over there all this time on your phone and didn’t pay one bit of attention to us! You had your chance and you blew it, so no! our sweet waitress gets to do it!” And that’s how our friendship with Flo, the one-time attorney who took over the restaurant from her mother, began. But more on Flo later….we got a drawn ticket and it damn well better be mine! I didn’t even have enough time to get my tickets out of my side purse before I heard Suz yell, “That’s me! I won! I won! I won! In your face Janice! You’re a loooooser and I’m a winner! You’ll never win because you’re too stupid to win!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say some, or any of that, but that’s how it felt. This is really starting to sting people! So, Suz walked away with 33 smackeroos, which hardly even made a dent in the wad she left behind at City Cylce Sales!

We chatted a bit with Flo and found out she always wanted to learn to ride and seeing all the bikes pouring into their parking lot and then realizing we were all GIRLS, well…she was inspired! She asked to come outside and have her picture taken on one of the bikes and, of course, we were happy to oblige. She got to pick the bike she wanted and Flo selected Paula’s black beauty. After summoning (more like yelling) at a gal named Jill from across the parking lot to get on over here and take my picture on this motorcycle, we snapped a few group shots. We then hugged our good-byes and she made us promise to come back again someday and we made her promise to get on a bike someday.

In 15 short miles, we were pulling into the Acorns Resort at Milford Lake. Great. Just great. While the road was paved, the parking was…you guessed it…gravel. If there’s anything a Kitty hates worse than riding on gravel, it’s parking on gravel. But like the big girls that we are, we all managed to get our bikes parked and we commenced to unloading saddle bags and deciding who was going in which cabin (we had two) and who was going to snuggle up with who for the next two nights. Then came time to decide who was going to paddle board and who was going to couch surf for the next couple of hours. Bobbie, Denise,  Maureen, Christine and I went to the lake while the rest of the group rested up and enjoyed the AC and each other’s company, although several other Kitties came down later to see how the lake Kitties were doing with the paddle boarding. Unofficial awards were given in the following categories: Fastest to Get Wet goes to Denise; First to Get to a Standing Position goes to Maureen; Best Yoga Pose goes to Christine; The Only One to NOT Get Wet goes to Bobbie; The Farthest Distance from Dock goes to Maureen; and The Most Clothes on While Paddle Boarding goes to Janice. One final award was given to Maureen for The Only One to Lose her Flip Flops on the Lakeshore. It’s still a mystery as to what happened to said flip flops – they were either stolen or were too close to shore and floated off.

After returning to the cabins, a liquor order was taken and Nellie and her Whiz Bang Machine, along with escorts Linda and Bobbie, went to fetch the booze and pick up a few snacks. Good Lord! What they came back with would have supplied a frat house for days! There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell we were going to eat or drink all that stuff, but that’s what happens when you shop when you’re hungry and thirsty! We had a pre-dinner cocktail and then got ready to walk to the Cove Restaurant for dinner. That’s when Kit E. Kat, the Krome Kitty mascot, finally made her appearance. Lots of pictures were taken to document her attendance on the ride but she was more than a little put out when she found out she wasn’t invited to actually eat with us. Get over it Kit E. Kat, no one likes a pouty Kitty! Dinner at the Cove Restaurant was delicious, the service was outstanding and to top it off, we got to see a gorgeous sunset over the water.

After dinner, we walked back to the Party Cabin; tried our best to drink some of the massive amount of alcohol; and laughed until our faces hurt and our bellies ached. I would like to say that we partied way into the night, but let’s be honest….none of us are spring chickens anymore so we called it an early night with orders to be ready to roll at 9:00 the next morning.

The next morning everyone was up and out the door right on time and as I was walking to my bike, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Like an old-fashioned Texaco gas station attendant, Dawn was cleaning everyone’s windshield! This is one of the many reasons we love you Dawn – you are always thinking ahead and thinking of others!

The first order of business was to put some fuel in our bikes and that’s when Kit E. Kat came back out to play. She gassed up Suz’s bike; she posed in a variety of positions and even got all playful on Bobbie’s bike by stretching out like the sun-loving, frisky Kitty that she is.

Suz planned a lovely day of riding for us which took us through miles and miles of Kansas countryside; alongside Glen Elder Lake; and several small towns. I have to mention a little something about the lake. When I say “lake”, I mean a very large body of water. Not a pond, not a stream. It. Was. A. Lake. We’ve all seen a lake, right? They are hard to miss, right? Especially when we’re riding right alongside one, right? Imagine our shocked reaction when someone mentioned at lunch about how pretty Glen Elder Lake was and Denise responded, and I quote, “What lake? I didn’t even see a lake.” We are stared in silence at her with our mouths agape with incredulity. That lasted for a brief moment before the questions came fast and furious. “What? How could you miss the lake?” “What were you doing that you couldn’t see a lake?” “You do know what a lake is, right?” There were more, many more, but now I feel like I’m beating a dead horse or an embarrassed Kitty so I’ll stop. Denise’s only defense….”I guess I must have been looking at the road.” Hey, Denise, we appreciate your lazer-like focus on the road and if there’s roadkill or a pothole or a dead body on it, we know you’ll be the first to point it out, but it’s OK to look up every now and then!

Speaking of lunch, a short distance from the invisible Glen Elder Lake was Cawker City, where we jockeyed our way into the Lakeshore Tailgater Bar and Grill parking lot (I bet Denise wondered why it was called “Lakeshore”) and filed into the restaurant for some hamburgers and french fries. Kit. E. Kat also had a chance to peruse the menu a couple of times but the finicky Kitty that she is, didn’t even order anything. We learned from the waitress that the Word’s Largest Ball of Twine was within easy walking distance and if you called this lady named Linda Clover, she would meet us there so we could add some twine to the ball. Hell yeah we want to add twine! Nothing a Kitty loves more than a ball of string!

As promised, Linda Clover met us at the Big Ol’ Ball of Twine and provided a bit of history of how all this started. I was so busy taking pictures, I didn’t catch the entire story, but I did hear that it was started by Frank Stoeber in 1953 and he gave the ball to Cawker City in 1961. It currently weighs over 20,000 pounds!! Cawker City has taken this notoriety very seriously and even has painted twine on their sidewalks. I was selected to tie the twine onto the ball and Linda was great about letting us go round and round and round again in order for everyone to take a turn in adding twine to this historic ball. We agreed that since Alice was the newest member on the trip, she would tie it off. Thanks to the Kitties, they can now record a pound or two more to that Big Ball’s total! While we were all taking silly pictures with Kit E. Kat, a sidecar that looked very vintage, but come to find out really wasn’t, pulled up. We were like bees to honey and swarmed that poor man who just wanted to come and spend a few quiet, reflective moments with the Ball of Twine. Turns out he was on a cross country trip on his sidecar bike, called a Ufal, which tops out at about 50 miles per hour. I bet HE saw the lake!

After we sufficiently saw everything there was to see at The Ball, we walked back to the restaurant and biked back up for the next stop on this 270 mile Tiede Tour de Kansas. Rock City here we come! There we were riding along with music a playin’ in our ears or thoughts a runnin’ through our heads when suddenly, the pavement ended and gravel began. What The Hell? This is almost starting to be funny that we cannot escape the gravel on this trip! As I’m riding along, two things crossed my mind. One – I no longer have any fear whatsoever in riding on gravel. We had done it so much that it beat that anxiety right out of me. Two – you’re welcome Kitties! You’re welcome for providing some practice time on 143rd St. for what was to come! I guess I’m not such an idiot now, am I? That’s a rhetorical question – please do not answer. Now we just gotta get everyone used to riding in the rain, but no chance of that on this trip. Or is there….

The gravel did seem to go on and on and on, but we eventually found paved road again and pulled into Minneapolis – the KS one, not the MN one. We gassed up and regained our composure from the gravel experience and decided who was and was not interested in riding the very short distance to Rock City. Turns out, you had to ride on a dirt road to get to Rock City and between that and being hot and thirsty, five Kitties decided to stay at the Casey’s gas station to cool off and rehydrate and eight Kitties and Kit E. Kat rode on to Rock City.

Rock City is actually a park with about 200 ginormous Dakota stones. They each have a name based on what they resemble. A few that I remember were Turtle Rock, Donut Hole Rock, Shipwreck Rock and Mushroom Rock. I went on a rock climbing expedition on Turtle Rock and was able to successfully summit but then had to get back down, which was actually a lot harder and required a bit of sliding on the ole’ derriere. Kit E. Kat aka Paula and Dawn recreated a scene from the Lion King and everyone agreed they nailed it! After group pictures, we got back on our bikes and rode back to Casey’s to get the rest of the Kitties and ride the 40ish miles back to Milford Lake.

“So, what’s for dinner?”, I ask when we returned. Hot cheese and hamburger dip and snacks was the answer. Someone’s gotta eat all that food sitting on that there countertop! So, a few of the Kitties started frying hamburger and melting cheese and ripping open bags of chips and cookies and candy bars and crackers and sausage. Are you getting an idea of how much food there was? We all grazed off the countertop and made a half-assed attempt to drink all that alcohol, which we had no chance of actually ever doing. We all sat around and laughed; chatted; watched Bobbie break her glasses; and after watching Denise ignore the ranch dressing that had spilled on her hand for about ten minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and walked right over to her and licked it. Hey, someone had to do it! We also did a lot of studying the radar. “Looks like rain is heading our way in the morning,” says one Kitty. “What will we do?” says another. “We get wet,” says yet another. The original plan was to meet for breakfast at the Cove Restaurant before heading for home in the morning; however, in light of the wet weather scheduled to hit in the morning, we aborted that plan and decided to meet at the bikes at 8:30 with an 8:45 departure.

No sooner had the Kitties in my cabin rose from their slumber that Sunday morning, we got a call from the other cabin. “We’s got to go and we’s got to go now! Be ready in 20 minutes!” The Kitties in that cabin had apparently been up for like hours looking at radar and talking to husbands back home and knew rain was coming our way. Because of their early rising, they had a very leisurely time of getting things and themselves ready and packing bags on their bikes. In my cabin, it was utter chaos as clothes were being stuffed in bags; rains suits were being unrolled; clothes were being thrown on; Denise was worried her rain suit wasn’t going to fit anymore; and saddle bags were being packed. As we were walking out the door, right on cue, the skies opened up and it poured. Does this mean Dawn isn’t going to clean our windshields? I guess not because she was already biked up and ready to roll. Nellie took the lead and after a quick stop for gas, we got on the road for the long, wet, cold ride home.

That long, wet, cold ride home was even longer for Suz. You see, somewhere between Herrington and Florence, there is a roundabout. Suz was riding sweep and Linda was right in front of her. Suz and Linda got separated from the rest of the group by a car at the roundabout and we lost sight of them, presumably because they were behind a few cars. The group got to El Dorado where we pulled over at the Quik Trip to regroup and take a break from the weather. I called my husband, Greg, to let him know where we were and I would be home soon. That’s when he said, “Did you hear about Suz?” My heart dropped not knowing what was going to come out of his mouth next. “No, what happened to Suz?, I asked. “Her bike died and she is sitting all alone in the rain. She tried to call her husband, Jim, but he didn’t answer so she called me for help. I was going to give it 15 minutes of trying to get hold of Jim and if he didn’t answer, I was going to hook up the bike trailer and go get her.” Three things then happened. First, I said “FBomb!” and then I asked what happened to Linda and then I asked if some of us needed to go back. Greg went on to say that he was able to get hold of Jim and he and Nellie’s husband, JT, were on the way to get her. He stressed that Suz did not want anyone to go back for her. Turns out Linda pulled over in Florence and called Suz. Suz explained what happened and that she had called the Highway Patrol and an officer was coming to take her to a dry waiting spot. She told Linda to go on so this meant that Linda was riding all by herself in the rain. (I found out later that Linda made it home safe and sound and wet and cold.) After being convinced that Suz was being rescued, we hugged our good-byes and got back on the road headed to our respective homes. As soon as I got home, I called Suz and she was sitting in a restaurant with her husband and JT having lunch, the bike had been loaded and while she was very wet and cold, she was safe. But that’s not all folks. The Highway Patrol who was supposed to come get her and take her to a safe and dry waiting location…never showed up. Turns out there was some sort of crises going on in Ellsworth, KS and it took everyone’s attention, most notably the dispatcher’s. She had forgotten all about Suz and didn’t even call it in. Not to the Highway Patrol and not even to the Sherriff’s office. Here’s another little fun fact, Suz literally counted every car that went by and it took 69 cars before anyone stopped to see if she needed help. That person….a biker driving his car. Number 70 also stopped. Yep, another biker in a car. They had each asked if she needed a ride somewhere, but knowing the Highway Patrol was coming, she turned them down. If only she had known….. In the end, Suz did everything right and I for one, am grateful that she used whatever resources she could (even if they failed her); kept her wits about her; and didn’t panic. She even did the most important thing in a situation like this. She took a selfie. Well done Suz! Oh, and the reason Husband Jim didn’t answer his phone? He was vacuuming…or so he says. He at least had the good sense to have the vacuum out when Suz got home to lend credibility to his story.

So there you have it! We rode 504 miles on this trip; we made memories that will be talked about, and laughed about, for years to come; and provided some valuable lessons in gravel riding (again, you’re welcome!) and rain riding and crisis handling. These overnight trips never disappoint in bringing members closer and strengthening friendships already made. We missed those who were unable to come and hope that they will be able to join us on the next one. I think Paula said it best when she commented that it’s so refreshing to be with a great group of women who truly enjoy one another and don’t bring drama with them. I couldn’t agree more!

Those on board for the On Gravel We Travel Overnight Trip were Janice, Malaina, Christine, Nellie, Dawn, Maureen, Denise, Suz, Linda, Alice, Paula, Colleen and Bobbie.

 

Janice, KKMC Founder

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Anthony – July 15, 2017

A Kansas tornado spins you around and then often spits you out at a different location than you expected.  And that is what happened to us for the second month in a row.  We expected to go one place and ended up going somewhere different, just like life.  But everything came out OK in the end.

On a hot Saturday, at 9:30 a.m., the Krome Kitties met at the Quik Trip located at Maize and Kellogg with initial intentions to ride to Wakita, OK, where the film Twister was shot; eat lunch at the Twister Café, and visit the Twister Museum.  Sadly, due to the restaurant owner’s husband’s recent passing, the Twister Cafe was closed. We kept the owner in our thoughts and completely understood why the restaurant was closed. But we needed another place to eat lunch, and our wonderful excursion Kitties made a great plan B.

They selected Kristy’s Café in Anthony, KS for our lunch destination since it was on the way to Wakita, OK.  Because the weather was quite hot, we decided while we were at the Quik Trip in Wichita that a ride to Anthony for lunch and back was a good, modified plan. The Kitties on the road to Anthony, KS included Dawn (who was graciously volunteered to be our lead rider), Maureen, Suz, Alice, Brenda, Linda, Sue, and Nellie, was our sweep rider.  Our Oklahoma based Kitty, Sherri, met us at Kristy’s.  It was great to see her.  She had a longer ride to get to Anthony than the rest of us had from Wichita. 

We enjoyed our lunch with yummy sandwiches and Italian dishes.  Alice won the 50/50 drawing, and came away with an extra $20!  After our lunch, we decided we needed to support Anthony’s downtown merchants, so we shopped at Country At Heart, next door to Kristy’s.  They had such cute things and many of us left with more than we had when we got there (except for money).

Prior to leaving town Dawn, Linda, and Alice stopped back by Kristy’s to use the facilities and it was there that we learned that the Kitties were the talk of the town. The townsfolk weren’t quite sure what a group of female motorcycle riders were going to do in their little town so they were interested to know more.  We learned that one of the Anthony residents sitting at the bar across the street called us Female Hells Angels.  We found the comment amusing to say the least.  Little did they know we were there to eat, visit, and shop.  After lunching and shopping, we got on our bikes and headed back to Doo Dah.  Luckily, it wasn’t as hot as it could have been, but it sure was hot enough to be damn hot.  It was a good ride enjoyed by all.  We missed our Kitty sisters who weren’t there with us…but we know that there is next time!

Alice

KKMC Member

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Scratching Made from Scratch – June 25, 2017

Rule #1 for a bike trip – Expect the Unexpected.  On June 25th, twelve Kitties piled into the Quik Trip parking lot on the northwest part of Wichita all ready to ride to Wilson, KS and eat at the Made from Scratch Café.  As I was walking out of the QT with my cup of hot tea, I was accosted by Kitties who all had their radar pulled up on their phones.  What I saw was a whole lot of blue, green, red and yellow and it was the red and yellow that gave me the most concern.  And where should all that blue, green, red and yellow be?  Right smack dab in the middle of where we were headed.  If we didn’t get wet getting there, we sure as heck were going to get wet getting out of there.  With imploring eyes, I heard one Kitty after another say, “Please Janice, don’t make us go there.  We don’t want, need or can survive another Oh Hail No ride!”  Ok Kitties, where do you want to go?  From the radar, it appeared all the wet activity was north of us, so instead of being Kitties today, let’s be Snow Birds instead and head south.  Suz suggested Attica, but the memory of the Oh Hail No ride is still too fresh so Attica was scratched.  Kathryn suggested Winfield with a stop in Dexter to visit the Henry’s Candy Company.  We all agreed that was doable and after Suz begged on her hands and knees that we NOT eat Mexican food (something about stomach cramps and diarrhea – Oh, was I not supposed to share that?  My bad.), we agreed that Montana Mike’s would have something for everyone and especially those with delicate tummies.  So Kathryn, with the map of Kansas hard wired in her head (seriously, how is it that Kathryn knows every single back road in the state of Kansas and I have to Mapquest how to get across town?), she quickly rerouted us from northwest Wichita to southeast Kansas.

However, before leaving we all welcomed Sue, who was making her debut ride, to the group.  Let me just say that this is one Kolor Koordinated Kitty!  Her bike is a beautiful teal color and she has embraced this color to the absolute max!  Her shoes were teal, her Kitty shirt was teal, her jacket was teal and her little backpack was teal.  She even has a daughter named Teala!  We may not know a lot about Sue yet, but we sure as heck know her favorite color!

With Kathryn in the lead and Nellie bringing up the rear, we were in Winfield in no time flat, despite a slight delay by a passing train.  As we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, I didn’t see one single indication that this was Montana Mike’s.  As we parked our bikes, I looked over at Colleen and said, “Where are we?”  Her response, “Just outside of Winfield.”  OK, I had that coming with my inability to lead myself out of a paper bag, but what I mean is what is this place?  My little bandanaed head was spinning around looking for a sign that said Montana Mike’s, but it appeared we were eating at the Now Open Restaurant as that was the only sign in sight.  Oh well, fine by me so long as it’s not Mexican food because if it is, I ain’t riding behind Suz!  Turns out, Montana Mike’s had closed and it was under new ownership, but the signage hadn’t been installed yet.  Despite the fact that 12 Snow Birds showed up unannounced and unprepared for, we were immediately seated and received excellent service from a super friendly young waitress.  However, in spite of seeing 12 gorgeous bikes parked outside, she only commented on one.  Nellie’s Whiz Bang machine.  I swear, riding with Nellie is like being the ugly girl with a group of pretty girls in a bar.  We are categorically ignored!  Darn you Nellie and your Whiz Bang machine!  You know how I like being the center of attention!  You’re ruining everything!

I conducted the normal Kitty business while waiting for our lunch to arrive by selling pins, patches, taking orders for Kitty swag and trying my best to keep track of all the cash that was being thrown my way.  To an outsider, this must look like some serious drug dealing going down with all the trading of cash back and forth.  After lunch, I counted out the 50/50 money and BAM!  Someone is going home with 30 smackeroos!   We gave Sue the honors of pulling the winning ticket and was it me?  No.  Again.  The winning ticket belonged to SECOND TIME WINNER DAWN MORSE!  I’m seriously thinking of changing the bylaws to say that no Kitty will be allowed to win twice until this Kitty is allowed to win just once!  Congratulations to Dawn!  Kinda.  No seriously, I’m happy for you.  Sorta.

As we were wrapping up our meal, Kathryn announced that weather was moving into Hutchinson, where she lives, so she was going to make a run for it and try to beat the rain.  Colleen, who was fighting a splitting headache, said she was going with her and Bobbie, who believes it’s better to travel in threes, said she was joining them, as well.  So as those three Kitties headed north, nine Snow Birds stayed south and travelled the short distance to Dexter.  But first, we made a gas stop at the very same Dillons where the Fob debacle happened last month.  All eyes were on Christine to make darn sure she had her Fob and she secured her Fob!

Upon arriving at the Henry’s Candy Company in Dexter, we all filed inside to buy as much candy as we could stuff in our saddle bags.  Denise and Suz had their picture taken to commemorate a picture that had been taken there in 2014 to see if they had aged any – they have not.  After paying for our goodies and taking a water break, we all biked up and said good-bye to our Snow Bird days and headed north to uncertain weather.

Dawn led us back to Wichita via Augusta.  So far so good, not a raindrop in sight.  However, as we arrived in Augusta, I looked to the east and it didn’t look good.  Not good at all.  I looked over at Denise and said, “We’re going to get wet.”  Well, not all of us, just those of us who live any further west than about Greenwich Road.  Linda, Suz and Nellie made it home high and dry.  Dawn got a little wet, but the rest of us?  Soaked. To. The. Bone!  None of us had rain suits on and only one of us even had a jacket on – that being Smarty Pants Denise.  I debated pulling over to put on my jacket but it wasn’t a rain jacket so that just meant another piece of clothing would be drenched so I just trudged on.  Christine  found the silver lining to all those dark clouds and was grateful that the rain had cleaned off all the bugs from her half chaps.  I, however, just longed for my Snow Bird days…..

Thank you for another great day on the bikes!  We reinforced what we already knew…it’s not where you go that matters.  It’s who you go with that’s important!  Those on board for the Scratching Made from Scratch Road Trip were Janice, Kathryn, Bobbie, Maureen, Christine, Denise, Colleen, Suz, Nellie, Linda, Dawn, and Sue.

Janice, KKMC Founder

 

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“P” is for Ponca, Pawhuska and Pig – May 20, 2017

We is kind.  We is beautiful.  We is smart.  For the Road Trip on Saturday, May 20th, we were especially smart.  You see, back in April at the Burrton ride, Kathryn approached me and said, “You know there can be up to a five hour wait for lunch at the Pioneer Women Mercantile, right?”  I replied, “Are you flipping kidding me?”  We can’t wait five hours to eat lunch!”  “Precisely.” Kathryn responded.  “I would suggest you ride to Ponca City and eat there and then ride to Pawhuska and avoid that whole line around the building thing.”  Following Kathryn’s advice, that’s exactly what we did.

Nellie, Maureen and I selected The Ground Round for our eatin’ spot and once again, we proved how smart we is.  First of all, as Dawn led us all into the restaurant parking lot, our Oklahoma Kitty, Sherri aka Hard Core Kitty, was just getting off her bike.  That, my dear Feline Friends, is what you call perfect timing.  Secondly, this parking lot was my absolute very favorite kind – wide open with not. one. single. car in it.  Ain’t no five hour wait in this joint, no sirree!  In lickety split time, we were all seated in a long stretch of tables and shedding layers and eyeballing menus.  While we waited for our food orders to arrive, I passed out the AWESOME member patches.  We all chit chatted through our meals and Dawn expressed her displeasure with those who don’t pay their taxes and then get to settle a $50,000 debt with the IRS for like 80 bucks.  How in the world did that come up in conversation, you ask?  Well, Sherri is a tax attorney; you can probably figure it out from there.  “How is that fair??”  Right, Dawn?  And then it was time for the most important part of the lunch – the 50/50 drawing!  There was a total of $45.00 in the flamed bag so that meant someone (not me) was going home with $23.00!  We gave our friendly and very helpful waitress the honors of drawing the ticket and …….  Sherri was the winner!  Ironically, Sherri had just thrown all kinds of money at me to pay for a shirt, Kitty Kap, patches and a spot pin.  Now, I was throwing it right back to her.  I’m now thinking maybe we might ought to change her nickname to Shrewd Sherri!

After our friendly and helpful waitress took a group picture and commented (or was it more like me saying?) how bad ass we were, we all filed outside and biked up for the long 44-mile journey to Pawhuska with Dawn in the lead.  Next stop – shopping!!

It didn’t take a Lewis and Clark expedition to figure out where the Pioneer Woman Mercantile was in Pawhuska.  Just look for a line of people wrapped around a building.  We is SO smart for avoiding all that standing and waiting by eating a tasty and quick meal in Ponca City!  Thank you Kathryn!  We masterfully pulled nine bikes into like three parking stalls and bypassed all those suckers (uh, I mean poor souls) to walk right into the Mercantile.  We all split up and agreed to meet back at the front door in one hour.

I was committed to finding a pig for Suz and recruited all Kitties to cover every inch of the place and report back.  Their marching orders – FIND ME A PIG!!  Here’s what we came up with – one small plain white piggy bank, which didn’t even have the Mercantile logo on it; small pink pig mugs; and little bowls with pigs on them.  What the heck??  Wouldn’t you think at a place called “Mercantile” there would be pigs?  There were plenty of cows, horses, chickens and every other barnyard animal, but no PIGS!  What do these people have against pork??  Well, in the end, I opted for the bowls but it was truly a very disappointing experience.  (Sad emoji face.)  After I recovered from the pig debacle, I wandered around the store and covertly took pictures of the Kitties shopping and caught Shelley in both her Ladylike and Sexylike poses.  We commandeered a young man to take our group picture in front of the store with our bags of goodies and then walked to the bikes to pack them all up and get ready for the trip home.

Dawn found a beautiful little road to begin our trip home which reminded me of Thunder Road out of Augusta with lots of turns and some hills.  Everything was a brilliant green what with all the cool and wet weather we’ve been having and it was a very relaxing and serene ride.  That is until the pothole from hell that several of the Kitties fell into.  I was right behind Christine when all of a sudden, she bounced like she was on a trampoline!  I swear I thought she was going to come clear off her bike!  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something fly off her bike and as I was zooming past at about 70 miles per hour, I thought, “Huh, that looked like a key on a key ring.”  But knowing there’s no way a key was going to come out of an ignition like that, I didn’t give it too much thought.  Until…..we stopped in Winfield for gas.  Christine pulled in line behind some other Kitties and switched off her bike to wait her turn.  When she went to turn it back on, all she got was a whole lot of nothing.  You see, these newfangled bikes have a Fob that has to be near the bike in order for it to start.  Turns out that Fob was nowhere near the bike and somewhere near that pothole from hell.  Guess my quick assessment of a key on a key ring flying by me was spot on.  Linda came to the rescue and said, “I know how to start it.  All you have to have is your code.”  “Code?  I don’t know my code,” replied Christine.  “Here, let me get my phone and call my husband, Dorrin, to give it to me.  Oh wait, my phone is in my saddle bags and I can’t open my saddle bags without the key.”  We all started throwing phones at her and she got hold of Dorrin.  Dorrin asked silly questions like how did your Fob fly out of your pocket and if it wasn’t in your pocket, how did your Fob fly out of your windshield pouch?  Christine decided this wasn’t the time to get into the fact that her key wasn’t securely tucked away in her pocket or windshield pouch, but rather laying in a cubby hole on her dash.  Some things are better left unsaid, right Christine?  Dorrin provided the code and after quite a few minutes of Linda and Christine hovering over her bike, we finally heard it fire up!  In unison, we all said, DO NOT SHUT THAT OFF UNTIL YOU’RE IN YOUR GARAGE!  While we were patiently waiting for Christine and Linda to break into her ignition system, a grumpy Winfieldite told us we needed to get our bikes out away from the gas pumps, despite the fact that there were many other pumps to choose from.  Our Enforcer Maureen, said “Since you asked us so meanly, we’re going to move them but we ain’t gonna be quick about it!”  This guy must not have realized what a rough and tumble biker gang we are – he’s lucky we didn’t get our lipsticks out and defame his car!

Now fast forward to the next day and Dorrin is determined to find that key Fob so he packed up his biker gang member Christine and headed off to retrace our steps of the day before.  Christine and I exchanged several texts that Sunday morning trying to determine where I saw it fly by me and I made a comment something along the lines of a needle in a haystack.  What I was silently thinking was, “There’s a snowball’s chance in Hell she’s going to find that.”  Well, Hell froze over on Sunday, May 21st, when I got a text from Christine saying “We found it!!”  Feeling quite confident she was fibbing to me, I demanded pictures to prove it.  And then she sent pictures!  I’ll be damned if they didn’t find that key Fob, along with about a dozen sticks of Trident gum that also flew off her bike, laying alongside the road.  The Fob is a little worse for wear and it’s anybody’s guess as to whether it’ll actually ever work again, but the Eagle Eye Allsmans proved me wrong.  If you’re ever actually looking for a needle in a haystack, might I suggest you contact Christine and Dorrin?  I just have one question….how is that they could find a Fob in the middle of nowhere and I couldn’t find one darn pig in a country store??  To quote Dawn, how is that fair?!

And so it goes for the second Road Trip of the 2017 season.  Thank you, Dawn, for leading us to and fro without one turnaround and thank you Nellie and Maureen for planning a fun day of riding, eating and shopping.  Those on board for the “P” is for Ponca City, Pawhuska and Pig Road Trip were Janice, Sherri, Melaina, Maureen, Nellie, Linda, Dawn, Shelley and Eagle Eye Christine.

Janice, KKMC Founder