20161008_135930

A Zen Kind of Day in Zenda – October 8, 2016

Up until the night before the October 8th ride to Zenda, KS, I was feeling pretty smug about how we managed to make it through the entire season without a freezing cold ride.  After all, it had been beautiful in the days leading up to the ride day, so I had no reason to believe we wouldn’t have more of the same.  Then Bam!  The night of October 7th took a turn for the worse which is so unusual as weather is typically very predictable here in the Kansas heartland, right?  When I got up that Saturday morning, I was psyching myself up for a very cold ride as the temps had dropped into the 40’s overnight.  I sausage-cased myself into about five layers of clothes, took a deep breath, and braced myself for the first step out of the garage.  “Huh.  This isn’t so bad.” I thought to myself.  “Either it’s not as cold as I thought or after 13 years of Fall riding, I finally mastered the art of dressing warm.”  Trying not to be too cocky, I reminded myself the true test will be when I’m actually moving.  And then I started moving and I still wasn’t cold!  Halle – freaking – luiah!  Turns out I wasn’t being smug at all!  I was just being right!  That happens a lot.

Thirteen Kitties poured into the parking lot of the QuikTrip and we hugged our hellos to each other; hugged our welcomes to two new Kitties, Amanda and Leigh Ann; and waved our howdies to Linda’s  Mom, Jackie, who was riding shotgun in Linda’s car.  We pimped the 50/50 tickets and then I called the Litter together to have a quick pre-ride briefing to let everyone know the route and that I would be leading the group and Linda would be the sweep.  That’s when I saw it.  The look of fear that washed over everyone’s faces.  “Seriously, can’t Kari lead?  It’s not that we don’t trust your sense of direction (we don’t) and it’s not that we don’t think you can get us there without having to execute a U-turn somewhere (we don’t), it’s just that we’re very accustomed to riding behind Kari and she’s awesome at getting us where we need to go.”  Words are hurtful, you know, and while they might not have been spoken aloud, they were implied!  Well, who got who to Zenda without a hitch?  That’s right!  This girl!  Truth is….I’m just as surprised as you all are.

Under the outstanding leadership of yours truly (that’s right, I said it, all you Doubtful Debbies!), the ride to Zenda was uneventful and NOT cold, which was the best part.  However, the road south of Highway 400 to Zenda was a mess.  Potholes everywhere and a good amount of gravel scattered all over the place.  Hey, Kansas Department of Taking Care of the Roads, how about you bring your road making machines to 90th Street and Highway 400 and fix something!   We filed into Zenda and got ourselves parked and immediately started shedding our sausage casings.  This day is getting warmer and warmer by the minute!

The Lumberyard Restaurant had our tables all ready and after we all got settled in, I did what KKMC has only ever done once before.  We bequeathed an Honorary Krome Kitty status to Jackie, which of course comes with a complimentary Kitty shirt.  Jackie is Linda Mom and Linda is her primary caretaker so often times, where Linda goes – Jackie goes.  The first Krome Kitty Honorary status had been given to our dear departed Marjorie Bare, who at the time she was named an Honorary Kitty, was 105 years old.  We decided we didn’t need to make Jackie wait 20 some years for her bequeathment (Is that a real word?  I’m not sure, but it sounds impressive.)   This was Jackie’s second outing with the Kitties as she had also attended the YWCA Ice Cream Social in July.  Looking down the long table at all the Kitties, Jackie must have felt right at home as she birthed and raised EIGHT, let me say that again – EIGHT – children!  Jackie, this may come as a surprise to you, but you don’t have eight children, you have 33 children as we all consider you to be our Honorary Kitty AND Mom!  You are a warrior and delightful and we are thrilled to have you as part of our Litter!  We welcome, and encourage, you to ride shotgun in the cage any darn time you please!

We placed our orders of hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, chicken fingers, steak fingers, lady fingers butter fingers, lift-a-fingers, sticky fingers, trigger fingers, crossed fingers, burned fingers, snapped fingers, bony fingers – OK, I’ve taken this too far – and of course, made certain there would be ample pie by ordering it sooner than later.  Then the anticipated moment came of who was going to win the 50/50 pot!  Honoring my vow to not complain about never winning since I was gifted such a wonderful white leather Harley coat last month, I will not ramble on about how once again I didn’t win.  I’ve never won.  Probably never will win.  How many seasons must I endure this?  We gave Honorary Kitty Jackie the honors of pulling the ticket and drumroll please……ALICE was the lucky (luckier than me) winner of $40.00!  Rumor has it she was leaving for vacation the next day and this would be used to buy something pretty or pay for dinner for her and Tom Kat Gary.  My money is on buying something pretty.  And Drats!  How did I not get a picture of Alice and her newfound windfall??

As we were eating our delicious Lumberyard food, Sherri yelled from down yonder, “Hey Janice, there’s a girl here and she wants to talk to you about becoming a Kitty!”  Wait.  What?  There’s a girl in Zenda, Kansas USA who wants to be a Krome Kitty?  Turns out the girl, Brenda, is from Suppesville and had just purchased a motorcycle in May from a bike shop in Hesston.  While there, she was commenting to the salesman about how she wished she had people to ride with and get this!  He said, “You need to hook up with the Krome Kitties!”  What. The. Heck??!!   I don’t know how in heaven’s name he knows about us, but we’re famous!  Or maybe it’s more like infamous, but nevertheless, I was blown away that he would know about us and recommend her to us.  Anywhoo, we talked a bit and she was very excited about joining and even though this was the last ride of the season, she wanted to join us for our winter activities to get to know us a little better.

This was the second time the Kitties had pointed our noses to Zenda.  The first time was way back in September 2008.  As we did then and must do now, we had our picture taken in front of the ittsy bitsy tiny Zenda jail.  What immediately struck me as we approached the jail was the sign was in pretty sad shape.  You could hardly read the words “Zenda Jail” on the board, whereas in 2008, it was very legible.  When I commented on how the sign had not aged well at all, Bobbie mumbled something about, “Yeah, well neither have you.”  After what was a record for getting a group shot taken in a timely fashion, we noticed Bobbie was INSIDE the jail.  We then decided to impose upon our Waitress/Photographer for one more group shot inside the Pokey and then decided it was time to bike up and head back east to Doo Dah.

We all agreed there was no reason to travel back down that dilapidated old road to Highway 400 so we would take Highway 42 to Highway 14 north to Kingman, where we would stop for those who needed gas.  At the gas station, Bobbie suggested we take the Old Highway 54 to Garden Plain to avoid the hustle and bustle of Highway 400.  I indicated I didn’t know where that was and she said, “I remember where it is, so I’ll lead.”  Bobbie came through for us and led us down a lovely scenic route and as I looked to the left, way over there was Highway 400 with lots of trucks zooming along while we had this road all to ourselves.

That’s a wrap and drop the mic!  We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added two new Kitties (Amanda and Leigh Ann); we finally got Alice moved here from Colorado and she was able start riding with us; we re-added one Kitty (Sherri); we bestowed Honorary Krome Kitty status to Jackie; we met, ate and rode with Suz’s family in Ponca City in April; we Zoo’d it with the YWCA Moms and Kids in May; we met Chinese Jesus in Van Buren, AR in July; we Dali horsed around in Lindsborg in July and in the same month, we Ice Cream Socialed with the YWCA Moms and Kids and overstuffed their van with needed items; we swung on a bridge in Moline in August; we Tom Katted our way to Cottonwood Falls in September; and we did prison time in Zenda in October.  A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 12th riding season one to remember. A MASSIVE thank you to Suz and Denise for finding us fun and interesting places to go this season! The Kitties rock in so many way, 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 2017, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the  A Zen Kind of Day in Zenda were Janice, Leigh Ann, Melaina, Alice, Bobbie, Kari,  Christine, Sherri, Colleen, Nellie, Linda, Amanda, Dawn and Jackie.

Janice – KKMC Founder

 

 

 

 

 

20161008_135930

A Zen Kind of Day in Zenda – October 8, 2016

Up until the night before the October 8th ride to Zenda, KS, I was feeling pretty smug about how we managed to make it through the entire season without a freezing cold ride.  After all, it had been beautiful in the days leading up to the ride day, so I had no reason to believe we wouldn’t have more of the same.  Then Bam!  The night of October 7th took a turn for the worse which is so unusual as weather is typically very predictable here in the Kansas heartland, right?  When I got up that Saturday morning (which was like two hours before Nellie Taylor drug her little Kitty butt out of bed.  “Why take an hour to get ready when you really can do it in 20 minutes” is Nellie’s philosophy.), I was psyching myself up for a very cold ride as the temps had dropped into the 40’s overnight.  I sausage-cased myself into about five layers of clothes, took a deep breath, and braced myself for the first step out of the garage.  “Huh.  This isn’t so bad.” I thought to myself.  “Either it’s not as cold as I thought or after 13 years of Fall riding, I finally mastered the art of dressing warm.”  Trying not to be too cocky, I reminded myself the true test will be when I’m actually moving.  And then I started moving and I still wasn’t cold!  Halle – freaking – luiah!  Turns out I wasn’t being smug at all!  I was just being right!  That happens a lot.

Thirteen Kitties poured into the parking lot of the QuikTrip and we hugged our hellos to each other; hugged our welcomes to two new Kitties, Amanda Mareda and Leigh Ann Simmons; and waved our howdies to Linda Moreland’s Mom, Jackie, who was riding shotgun in Linda’s car.  We pimped the 50/50 tickets and then I called the Litter together to have a quick pre-ride briefing to let everyone know the route and that I would be leading the group and Linda Moreland would be the sweep.  That’s when I saw it.  The look of fear that washed over everyone’s faces.  “Seriously, can’t Kari Miller lead?  It’s not that we don’t trust your sense of direction (we don’t) and it’s not that we don’t think you can get us there without having to execute a U-turn somewhere (we don’t), it’s just that we’re very accustomed to riding behind Kari and she’s awesome at getting us where we need to go.”  Words are hurtful, you know, and while they might not have been spoken aloud, they were implied!  Well, who got who to Zenda without a hitch?  That’s right!  This girl!  Truth is….I’m just as surprised as you all are.

Under the outstanding leadership of yours truly (that’s right, I said it, all you Doubtful Debbies!), the ride to Zenda was uneventful and NOT cold, which was the best part.  However, the road south of Highway 400 to Zenda was a mess.  Potholes everywhere and a good amount of gravel scattered all over the place.  Hey, Kansas Department of Taking Care of the Roads, how about you bring your road making machines to 90th Street and Highway 400 and fix something!   We filed into Zenda and got ourselves parked and immediately started shedding our sausage casings.  This day is getting warmer and warmer by the minute!

The Lumberyard Restaurant had our tables all ready and after we all got settled in, I did what KKMC has only ever done once before.  We bequeathed an Honorary Krome Kitty status to one Jackie McNutt, which of course comes with a complimentary Kitty shirt.  Jackie is Linda Moreland’s Mom and Linda is her primary caretaker so often times, where Linda goes – Jackie goes.  The first Krome Kitty Honorary status had been given to our dear departed Marjorie Bare, who at the time she was named an Honorary Kitty, was 105 years old.  We decided we didn’t need to make Jackie wait 20 some years for her bequeathment (Is that a real word?  I’m not sure, but it sounds impressive.)   This was Jackie’s second outing with the Kitties as she had also attended the YWCA Ice Cream Social in July.  Looking down the long table at all the Kitties, Jackie must have felt right at home as she birthed and raised EIGHT, let me say that again – EIGHT – children!  Jackie, this may come as a surprise to you, but you don’t have eight children, you have 33 children as we all consider you to be our Honorary Kitty AND Mom!  You are a warrior and delightful and we are thrilled to have you as part of our Litter!  We welcome, and encourage, you to ride shotgun in the cage any darn time you please!

We placed our orders of hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, chicken fingers, steak fingers, lady fingers butter fingers, lift-a-fingers, sticky fingers, trigger fingers, crossed fingers, burned fingers, snapped fingers, bony fingers – OK, I’ve taken this too far – and of course, made certain there would be ample pie by ordering it sooner than later.  Then the anticipated moment came of who was going to win the 50/50 pot!  Honoring my vow to not complain about never winning since I was gifted such a wonderful white leather Harley coat last month, I will not ramble on about how once again I didn’t win.  I’ve never won.  Probably never will win.  How many seasons must I endure this?  We gave Honorary Kitty Jackie the honors of pulling the ticket and drumroll please……ALICE FRIEDMAN was the lucky (luckier than me) winner of $40.00!  Rumor has it she was leaving for vacation the next day and this would be used to buy something pretty or pay for dinner for her and Tom Kat Gary.  My money is on buying something pretty.  And Drats!  How did I not get a picture of Alice and her newfound windfall??  I blame Bobbie Cole for this.  I told her to get a picture, but she forgot.  She started to say something once, but she forgot.  She ordered pie already, but she forgot.  Seems like Bobbie has a hard time remembering much of anything these days.  FYI, we’re a motorcycle club Bobbie.

As we were eating our delicious Lumberyard food, Sherri Hischke yelled from down yonder, “Hey Janice, there’s a girl here and she wants to talk to you about becoming a Kitty!”  Wait.  What?  There’s a girl in Zenda, Kansas USA who wants to be a Krome Kitty?  Turns out the girl, Brenda Barry, is from Suppesville and had just purchased a motorcycle in May from a bike shop in Hesston.  While there, she was commenting to the salesman about how she wished she had people to ride with and get this!  He said, “You need to hook up with the Krome Kitties!”  What. The. Heck??!!   I don’t know how in heaven’s name he knows about us, but we’re famous!  Or maybe it’s more like infamous, but nevertheless, I was blown away that he would know about us and recommend her to us.  Anywhoo, we talked a bit and she was very excited about joining and even though this was the last ride of the season, she wanted to join us for our winter activities to get to know us a little better.  I told her not to bother introducing herself to Bobbie Cole at said events.  She’ll just forget anyway.

This was the second time the Kitties had pointed our noses to Zenda.  The first time was way back in September 2008.  As we did then and must do now, we had our picture taken in front of the ittsy bitsy tiny Zenda jail.  What immediately struck me as we approached the jail was the sign was in pretty sad shape.  You could hardly read the words “Zenda Jail” on the board, whereas in 2008, it was very legible.  When I commented on how the sign had not aged well at all, Bobbie Cole mumbled something about, “Yeah, well neither have you.”  Don’t bother asking if she really said that.  She won’t remember.  After what was a record for getting a group shot taken in a timely fashion, we noticed Bobbie Cole was INSIDE the jail.  When asked what it was she did to get thrown in the ReBar Hotel, she said – you guessed it – “I forgot.”  We then decided to impose upon our Waitress/Photographer for one more group shot inside the Pokey and then decided it was time to bike up and head back east to Doo Dah.

We all agreed there was no reason to travel back down that dilapidated old road to Highway 400 so we would take Highway 42 to Highway 14 north to Kingman, where we would stop for those who needed gas.  At the gas station, Bobbie Cole suggested we take the Old Highway 54 to Garden Plain to avoid the hustle and bustle of Highway 400.  I indicated I didn’t know where that was and she said, “I remember where it is, so I’ll lead.”  I responded, “Fat chance you’ll remember where you left your bike, but OK, we’ll trust you on this one.”  Bobbie came through for us and led us down a lovely scenic route and as I looked to the left, way over there was Highway 400 with lots of trucks zooming along while we had this road all to ourselves.  OK, Bobbie, you redeemed yourself.

That’s a wrap and drop the mic!  We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added two new Kitties (Amanda Maredo and Leigh Ann Simmons); we finally got Alice Friedman moved here from Colorado and she was able start riding with us; we re-added one Kitty (Sherri Hischke); we bestowed Honorary Krome Kitty status to Jackie McNutt; we met, ate and rode with Suz Tiede’s family in Ponca City in April; we Zoo’d it with the YWCA Moms and Kids in May; we met Chinese Jesus in Van Buren, AR in July; we Dali horsed around in Lindsborg in July and in the same month, we Ice Cream Socialed with the YWCA Moms and Kids at Watson Park and overstuffed their van with needed items; we swung on a bridge in Moline in August; we Tom Katted our way to Cottonwood Falls in September; and we did prison time in Zenda in October.  A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 12th riding season one to remember. A MASSIVE thank you to Suz Tiede and Denise Johnson for finding us fun and interesting places to go this season! The Kitties rock in so many way, 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 2017, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the Zen Kind of Day in Zenda were Janice Friedman, Leigh Ann Simmons, Melaina Phares, Alice Friedman, Bobbie Cole, Kari Miller, Christine Allsman, Sherri Hischke, Colleen Williams, Nellie Taylor, Linda Moreland, Amanda Mareda, Dawn Morse and Jackie McNutt.

 

 

20160910_133355

Cutting Up in Cottonwood Falls – September 10, 2016

(Insert the Misadventures of Moline first paragraph here.)  Literally, the exact same Friday night downpour as what we had before the Moline ride repeated itself the Friday night before the Cottonwood Falls trip, only worse.  This time there was major flooding all over the city, but the skies cleared up and dried up just in time to bike up the next morning.  And like the Moline ride, it was a double jacketed kind of morning with much cooler temperatures than the days leading up to the ride.

Nineteen bikes and a Slingshot poured into the Quik Trip on Saturday, September 10th, and I just want to say thank you.  Thank you for recognizing that it’s high time the Kitties come bearing gifts for me and my Tom Kat, Greg, when arriving for a ride.  I mean isn’t that what dignitaries do when they come to the United States to visit the President?  Isn’t that what the Three Wise Men did when they visited the Baby Jesus?  OK sure, maybe I’m not as important as the President of the United State or Baby Jesus, but let’s just all agree to keep up with this tradition, shall we?  So, what did we receive at the September gathering, you ask?  Well, Colleen presented me with a brand spanking new white leather Harley Davidson coat!  Clearly, this was purchased especially for me because a) it still had the tags on it; b) it was my size and fit perfectly, and c) it matches my black and white bike to the tee. Colleen, your gift was AWESOME and all I gotta say is you girls have a mighty high bar to reach for future gifts!  No sooner had I finished oohing and ahhing over my wonderful coat, when Melaina fulfilled her duties and presented my Tom Kat, Greg, with a wonderful denim Harley Davidson jacket!  My very own Daddy Long Legs has Daddy Long Arms, too, and rarely finds shirts or jackets to fit, so the fact that this fit him perfectly shows that Melaina put a great deal of effort into her gift.  Now some naysayers might try to tell you that Colleen gave me the coat because she felt it would be a betrayal to her beloved Indian to wear competitor’s clothes and that Melaina had had this denim jacket in her basement for years and was looking to pass it on to someone else, but don’t believe them!!  They’re being Negative Nellies (not you Nellie, you’re not negative, you’re wonderful, I love you, bring me a gift in October), and are just trying to get out of bestowing gifts upon me.  So follow your conscious and do the right thing.  I wear a medium.

OK, back to less important matters – like the ride…..

We split the group into two with Greg and I leading one group (in our beautiful new coats) and Christine and her Tom Kat, Dorrin, leading the second, while Nellie and her Tom Kat, JT, and Suz and her Tom Kat, Jim, rode in the sweep positions.  All the rain we’ve had this summer made for absolutely beautiful fields of green dotted with thousands of wild sunflowers.  Seriously, these were so abundant that the state of Kansas really should consider making sunflowers the state flower.  I think I’ll mention that to the State Flower Supervisor.  Maybe they could even put that on license plates – something like…Kansas, the Sunflower State.  I’m so smart.

We arrived in Cottonwood Falls without incident, but turns out Greg and I didn’t really know how to get to the restaurant, so Maureen who happens to know the town of Cottonwood Falls like the back of her hand, took over the lead and drove us right to the Grand Central Hotel, with just one tiny little U-turn to get on the right side of the street to park.  The restaurant had our tables all set up, complete with personalized Krome Kitty menus, but the day was so beautiful and what do we have here?  Outdoor  dining tables!  We all picked up our place settings and moved the party out to the warm, fall-like sunshine.  I think I did hear a patron or two mutter under their breath, “Thank God!  Them Hells Angels look unruly and loud so put those Alley Kats outside!”

While some of us had their food and some of us were waiting for food, each of the Kitties introduced their Tom Kats and guests, which included two handsome men, Mike (Christine’s brother and long-time Tom Kat rider) and his friend, Paul.  We also welcomed Emma, Maureen’s daughter, who is a real life, bonafide Cowgirl and lives in Bizarre just down the road a piece.  (Emma, did I say that right?  Isn’t that how Cowboys and Cowgirls talk?)  We learned that Maureen had high hopes of Emma finding some rich rancher to hitch her daughter to, only to find out that she much preferred her fellow ranch hands for friends and a sweetie.  We also welcomed newish Kitty Alice and her Tom Kat, Gary, who is my husband’s brother.

And then the long awaited moment arrived.  Who was going to win the 50/50 pot, which on a Tom Kat ride is pretty darn sizable – $50.00 sizable to be exact!  Suz mixed up the tickets and gave Emma the honors of drawing the winning ticket, which belonged to….. drumroll please…….CHRISTINE (or Dorrin but that also means Christine.)  Normally, this is where I would bitch and moan about once again being cheated out of winning and how this is the SECOND time Christine has won, but I’ve decided in light of the new tradition of showering me with gifts, I will refrain from my usual rant.  Congratulations Christine (and Dorrin who will never see a dime of this money!)

And then there were MORE presents – a little gift for each and every one of the Tom Kats!  Bobbie had eaten 13 McDonald’s Happy Meals just to get the Talking Tom Kat toy inside each meal.  Bobbie, you are to be commended for the sacrifices you made for these absolutely adorable and perfect gifts!  She had gift bagged each one and as she passed them out, I said a few words to let our Tom Kats know how much we appreciate all their support; being understanding when their Kitty says they’ll be home around 2:00 and it ends up being 6:00 (insert a big hurrah from Dorrin here – something about that not being a bad thing); and giving us their muscle when we really needed them to.  We all had fun listening to what each little plastic Tom Kat had to say such as “My name is Tom and I’m a Superstar”; “Ooooh, do want to be my friend?”; “You and me should go on an adventure”; “Let’s go have some fun”; “C’mon, high paw!”; and “I’m a Tom Kat, show me your boobies.”  Wait what??  Sounds like a perverted Tom Kat slipped by internal controls!  I then made the declaration that in order to attend next year’s Tom Kat ride, those who received these adorable little Toms must present their little guy as an entrance fee.  We’ll see how many were paying attention; how many end up giving them to their kids or grandkids to play with; or how many “accidentally” lost them on the way home.  Thank you, Bobbie, for finding such a fun and clever way to honor our guys!

Next came time for the photo shoot.  I had this brilliant idea of getting all the Kitty’s bikes to the town’s beautiful and historical courthouse just down the street and positioning them so that all the Kitties could be photographed from the front and back.  For the most part, the Tom Kats did the jostling of bikes and Nellie backed in and backed out, drove in and drove out to get her Slingshot in just the right position. After all the positioning and poising, the best shot of the day ended up being a spontaneous picture taken by Gary of Kitties in full on laughter mode.  That picture is a true depiction of the fun, fellowship and feistiness we have with our feline friends!  Try saying THAT 10 times!

We then gathered everyone together for one last group shot courtesy of Chinese Cowboy Jesus Chris (Suz’s words not mine!) and given that there were Sedgwick County Fairs to visit, movies to go to, family dinners to attend and naps to take, we decided to call it a day; although Maureen and her Tom Kat, Larri, talked of doing a little Cottonwood Falls shopping (I think it was more Maureen talking and Larri rolling his eyes and sighing heavily.)  In typical herding kats fashion, everyone scattered in different directions and what started out as two groups coming to Cottonwood Falls ended up being about six groups leaving Cottonwood Falls.  But everyone got home safely with traveling buddies and it couldn’t have been a more purrfect September day for a ride.  The 12th Annual Tom Kat ride is in the books and thank you to all of those who attended for making it such a fun day!

Those on board for the Cutting Up in Cottonwood Falls Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg, Christine and Dorrin, Linda and Jim, Melaina, Alice and Gary, Maureen and Larri, Suz and Jim, Nellie and JT, Mike, Paul, Colleen, Bobbie and Al, Kari, and Guest Kitten Emma.  See y’all in October and don’t forget my gifts!

 

Janice – Founder of KKMC

 

20160910_133355

Cutting Up in Cottonwood Falls – September 10, 2016

(Insert the Misadventures of Moline first paragraph here.)  Literally, the exact same Friday night downpour as what we had before the Moline ride repeated itself the Friday night before the Cottonwood Falls trip, only worse.  This time there was major flooding all over the city, but the skies cleared up and dried up just in time to bike up the next morning.  And like the Moline ride, it was a double jacketed kind of morning with much cooler temperatures than the days leading up to the ride.

Nineteen bikes and a Slingshot poured into the Quik Trip on Saturday, September 10th, and I just want to say thank you.  Thank you for recognizing that it’s high time the Kitties come bearing gifts for me and my Tom Kat, Greg, when arriving for a ride.  I mean isn’t that what dignitaries do when they come to the United States to visit the President?  Isn’t that what the Three Wise Men did when they visited the Baby Jesus?  OK sure, maybe I’m not as important as the President of the United State or Baby Jesus, but let’s just all agree to keep up with this tradition, shall we?  So, what did we receive at the September gathering, you ask?  Well, Colleen Williams presented me with a brand spanking new white leather Harley Davidson coat!  Clearly, this was purchased especially for me because a) it still had the tags on it; b) it was my size and fit perfectly, and c) it matches my black and white bike to a tee. Colleen, your gift was AWESOME and all I gotta say is you girls have a mighty high bar to reach for future gifts!  No sooner had I finished oohing and ahhing over my wonderful coat, when Melaina Phares fulfilled her duties and presented my Tom Kat, Greg, with a wonderful denim Harley Davidson jacket!  My very own Daddy Long Legs has Daddy Long Arms, too, and rarely finds shirts or jackets to fit, so the fact that this fit him perfectly shows that Melaina put a great deal of effort into her gift.  Now some naysayers might try to tell you that Colleen gave me the coat because she felt it would be a betrayal to her beloved Indian to wear competitor’s clothes and that Melaina had had this denim jacket in her basement for years and was looking to pass it on to someone else, but don’t believe them!!  They’re being Negative Nellies (not you Nellie Taylor, you’re not negative, you’re wonderful, I love you, bring me a gift in October), and are just trying to get out of bestowing gifts upon me.  So follow your conscious and do the right thing.  I wear a medium.

OK, back to less important matters – like the ride…..

We split the group into two with Greg and I leading one group (in our beautiful new coats) and Christine Allsman and her Tom Kat, Dorrin, leading the second, while Nellie Taylor and her Tom Kat, JT, and Suz Tiede and her Tom Kat, Jim, rode in the sweep positions.  All the rain we’ve had this summer made for absolutely beautiful fields of green dotted with thousands of wild sunflowers.  Seriously, these were so abundant that the state of Kansas really should consider making sunflowers the state flower.  I think I’ll mention that to the State Flower Supervisor.  Maybe they could even put that on license plates – something like…Kansas, the Sunflower State.  I’m so smart.

We arrived in Cottonwood Falls without incident, but turns out Greg and I didn’t really know how to get to the restaurant, so Maureen Stout who happens to know the town of Cottonwood Falls like the back of her hand, took over the lead and drove us right to the Grand Central Hotel, with just one tiny little U-turn to get on the right side of the street to park.  The restaurant had our tables all set up, complete with personalized Krome Kitty menus, but the day was so beautiful and what do we have here?  Outdoor  dining tables!  We all picked up our place settings and moved the party out to the warm, fall-like sunshine.  I think I did hear a patron or two mutter under their breath, “Thank God!  Them Hells Angels look unruly and loud so put those Alley Kats outside!”

While some of us had their food and some of us were waiting for food, each of the Kitties introduced their Tom Kats and guests, which included two handsome men, Mike Hermann (Christine Allsman’s brother and long-time Tom Kat rider) and his friend, Paul Lisa.  We also welcomed Emma Stout, Maureen Stout’s daughter, who is a real life, bonafide Cowgirl and lives in Bizarre just down the road a piece.  (Emma, did I say that right?  Isn’t that how Cowboys and Cowgirls talk?)  We learned that Maureen had high hopes of Emma finding some rich rancher to hitch her daughter to, only to find out that she much preferred her fellow ranch hands for friends and a sweetie.  We also welcomed newish Kitty Alice Friedman and her Tom Kat, Gary, who is my husband’s brother and according to Gary, the Better Friedman.

And then the long awaited moment arrived.  Who was going to win the 50/50 pot, which on a Tom Kat ride is pretty darn sizable – $50.00 sizable to be exact!  Suz Tiede mixed up the tickets and gave Emma Stout the honors of drawing the winning ticket, which belonged to….. drumroll please…….CHRISTINE ALLSMAN (or Dorrin Allsman but that also means Christine Allsman.)  Normally, this is where I would bitch and moan about once again being cheated out of winning and how this is the SECOND time Christine has won, but I’ve decided in light of the new tradition of showering me with gifts, I will refrain from my usual rant.  Congratulations Christine (and Dorrin who will never see a dime of this money!)

And then there were MORE presents – a little gift for each and every one of the Tom Kats!  Bobbie Cole had eaten 13 McDonald’s Happy Meals just to get the Talking Tom Kat toy inside each meal.  Bobbie, you are to be commended for the sacrifices you made for these absolutely adorable and perfect gifts!  She had gift bagged each one and as she passed them out, I said a few words to let our Tom Kats know how much we appreciate all their support; being understanding when their Kitty says they’ll be home around 2:00 and it ends up being 6:00 (insert a big hurrah from Dorrin Allsman here – something about that not being a bad thing); and giving us their muscle when we really needed them to (no, Maureen, not THAT kind of muscle you naughty Kitty!)  We all had fun listening to what each little plastic Tom Kat had to say such as “My name is Tom and I’m a Superstar”; “Ooooh, do want to be my friend?”; “You and me should go on an adventure”; “Let’s go have some fun”; “C’mon, high paw!”; and “I’m a Tom Kat, show me your boobies.”  Wait what??  Sounds like a perverted Tom Kat slipped by internal controls!  I then made the declaration that in order to attend next year’s Tom Kat ride, those who received these adorable little Toms must present their little guy as an entrance fee.  We’ll see how many were paying attention; how many end up giving them to their kids or grandkids to play with; or how many “accidentally” lost them on the way home.  Thank you, Bobbie, for finding such a fun and clever way to honor our guys!

Next came time for the photo shoot.  I had this brilliant idea of getting all the Kitty’s bikes to the town’s beautiful and historical courthouse just down the street and positioning them so that all the Kitties could be photographed from the front and back.  For the most part, the Tom Kats did the jostling of bikes and Nellie Taylor backed in and backed out, drove in and drove out to get her Slingshot in just the right position. After all the positioning and poising, the best shot of the day ended up being a spontaneous picture taken by Gary Friedman of Kitties in full on laughter mode.  That picture is a true depiction of the fun, fellowship and feistiness we have with our feline friends!  Try saying THAT 10 times!

We then gathered everyone together for one last group shot courtesy of Chinese Cowboy Jesus Chris (Suz’s words not mine!) and given that there were Sedgwick County Fairs to visit, movies to go to, family dinners to attend and naps to take, we decided to call it a day; although Maureen Stout and her Tom Kat, Larri Brown, talked of doing a little Cottonwood Falls shopping (I think it was more Maureen talking and Larri rolling his eyes and sighing heavily.)  In typical herding kats fashion, everyone scattered in different directions and what started out as two groups coming to Cottonwood Falls ended up being about six groups leaving Cottonwood Falls.  But everyone got home safely with traveling buddies and it couldn’t have been a more purrfect September day for a ride.  The 12th Annual Tom Kat ride is in the books and thank you to all of those who attended for making it such a fun day!

Those on board for the Cutting Up in Cottonwood Falls Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg Friedman, Christine and Dorrin Allsman, Linda and Jim Moreland, Melaina Phares, Alice and Gary Friedman, Maureen Stout and Larri Brown, Suz and Jim Tiede, Nellie and JT Taylor, Mike Hermann, Paul Lisa, Colleen Williams, Bobbie Cole and Al Brumbaugh, Kari Miller and Guest Kitten Emma Stout. 

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The Misadventures of Moline – August 20, 2016

After the deluge of the Friday night before’s rainstorm (seriously, I was beginning to think I didn’t get the invite from Noah about joining him on the Ark.  (I mean wasn’t it the point to save two of everything and didn’t he also need two Smart Asses?), I was very pleased to see the skies had cleared and the sun was shining on the morning of Saturday, August 20th.  I put on my pretty new turquoise Kitty shirt and stepped outside.  Holy Furballs!  It’s cold out here!  So I went back inside and put on a hoodie and proceeded to go back outside only to go back inside once more to put a jacket on OVER the hoodie.  One can never be too layered on a cold August morning, am right?

As I was gassing up at the QT departure location, Linda Moreland informed me that Nellie Taylor, Suz Tiede and Colorado transplant Member and my sister-in-law Alice Navarro (hereby referred to as Alice Friedman because it’ll be easier for everyone [and when I say everyone, I mean me] to remember) were going to be a little late.  Here’s the story…. Alice has a bright and shiny orange Harley Davidson Fat Boy, but it hasn’t been transplanted from Denver yet, so arrangements had been made for Alice to ride shotgun in Nellie’s Slingshot.  Linda, Nellie and Alice were all to meet at Suz’s house at 9:00ish and they would all ride to the QT together.  Well 9:00ish came and went and there was no Nellie and no Slingshot.  A phone call was made and it went a little like this, “Good morning Nellie!  Are you coming?”  To which Nellie replies, “Coming where?”  “On the Moline ride today.” To which Nellie replies, “What???!!!  Holy Crap!!!  What???!!!  Is that today???!!!  Oh my God!!!  I’m still in bed, but I can be there in 20 minutes!!  Crap, crap, crap!!!  I can’t believe I didn’t know it was today!!  Don’t leave without me!!!  I’m on the way!!!”  So that you don’t think Noah should have invited Nellie to the Ark in order to save the Dumb Asses of the world, let me explain.  As you’ll recall, the Moline ride was originally planned for Sunday and Nellie was originally not planning to go as she was to be out of town the weekend of the ride, which was later canceled.  So when changes were made to the date, Nellie didn’t pay attention since it didn’t pertain to her, hence the confusion about the ride being on Saturday and not Sunday.  But as Nellie promised, she flew out of bed and into some Kitty clothes and her Slingshot and the Augusta crew arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Before leaving for Moline, we met and welcomed guest Dominique Kardatzke, (hereby referred to as Noni) and welcomed Alice on her first official Kitty ride and asked (or rather forced) the new ladies to buy 50/50 tickets, which turned out to be a very good decision for one of them.  You’re welcome!  We had a brief lesson on wind riding, hand signals and formation riding and biked up with Amy Hammer in the lead and Nellie and Alice riding sweep.

The route was to be west on 400 and then drop down south on 99, then go east on 160 to Moline.  As we pulled out of the QT at Kellogg and 143rd St., Amy pulled into the right hand lane and flipped on her right turn signal.  I was right behind Amy and while I’m extremely directionally challenged, I knew that turning right would take us east and not west, so I yelled Amy! Amy! Amy! and finally got her attention when someone, which I believe to be Dawn Morse who’s bike horn sounds more like a foghorn on a tug boat, got Amy’s attention.  I inched my bike up alongside her and asked, “Why are we turning right?  We should be turning left.”  Amy looked to the left and then to the right and said, “I think I got turned around.”  I motioned to just go straight across Kellogg and we could turn around.   Ironically, the very street that we pulled into to do said turnaround was the street where my ex-husband lives, so I’m very familiar with the neighborhood.  While everyone else executed a perfect U-turn in the middle of the street, I’m a true believer of going around the block in lieu of a U-turn whenever possible, so I chose that method instead.  Now we were headed in the right direction and heading west on 400.

We made the turn on 99 without incident, but in Howard Amy flipped on her right hand blinker at the high school and once again executed a perfect tight U-turn.  Shelley Bonnell, who must share my philosophy of “find an easier way to turn around if at all possible”, led the group in a nice wide sweeping turnaround and I pulled up alongside Amy to see what the problem was.  Turned out she was listening to GPS directions and had lost her internet signal.  I just happened to have just seen a sign that our next road, Highway 160, was six miles away so I assured her we were on the right track so proceed as she was.  Seven miles later we pulled into the Swinging Bridge Café and starting shedding layers.

We got settled at our table and the first order of business is….no, not order drinks…..no, not ask for menus….no, not go to the bathroom.  Come on you guys, you know what it is.  Order Pie!  After juggling who gets coconut cream and who gets lemon and Maureen Stout not having to fight anyone for the Strawberry Rhubarb, we ordered the second course and enjoyed some good ole fashioned home cooking courtesy of the Swinging Bridge Café.

Then the long awaited moment came to draw the winning ticket for the 50/50 drawing.  I got all ready to win my $35.00 and offered Noni the honors of drawing one of my six numbers.  She read the number….and cue the crickets.  No exclamations of “I WON!!”  including from yours truly.  Then it occurred to us that perhaps the caller of the number held the winning ticket and sure enough, we might have pretty much robbed Noni of her $5.00 back at the QT, but she was $35.00 richer for it!  We were then all sworn to secrecy that her husband must never hear of this new found windfall.  “I mean it you guys! Kitty pinkie swear it!”   Which we, of course, obliged.

After lunch Dawn Morse and Noni said they needed gas, so I told them we passed a gas station on the way in so why didn’t they ride to the gas station and we would sit tight.  The gas station was small and there was no reason for us all to pile in there when we didn’t need to fill up.  Okie dokie says Dawn and Noni and off they went.  After about 20 minutes, I said, “It sure seems like they’ve been gone a long time considering the gas station is about 2 blocks away.”  Amy Hammer volunteered to go find out what was going on.  After another 15 minutes went by and Amy never returned, we were starting to really wonder what the heck was going on.  Someone else volunteered to go look for them and I said, “No way!  There appears to be a black hole out there swallowing up Kitties and we can’t afford to lose another one!”  I tried to call Dawn.  Voice mail.  I tried to call Amy.  No answer.  Then I got a phone call from Amy and all I could make out before we lost the connection was, “They left town.”  Wait!  What?!  They left town?  Without seeing the bridge?  Without us?  A few minutes later we heard the roar of bikes and here comes the three MIA Kitties.  Turns out there were two issues that caused the long delay:  1)  When I said we passed a gas station on the way in, Dawn thought I meant way back in Howard, which was seven miles away.  She didn’t happen to notice the gas station just down the street so they rode the seven miles to Howard and back; and 2) Noni discovered that when she got to about 40 mph, her bike was losing power and going chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug.  Uh-oh, that don’t sound good.  It didn’t take a Buell mechanic to realize there was no way she was going to make it all the way back to Wichita.  So, she called her husband and he agreed to load their three kiddos in the pick-em-up truck and head our way.  We decided to kill some time and make our way to the Swinging Bridge.

Suz Tiede and Amy Hammer declined to make the walk on the moving bridge (something about puking up all the delicious pie if they did) and given that no one thought to bring a selfie stick and there wasn’t a stranger in sight, they took pictures from the safety of the shore.  Meanwhile the rest of us drunk walked our way across the bridge.  You know how there’s always that one person who will rock the seat on a Ferris Wheel so it starts a swingin’ until you beg them to stop?  Well my Feline Friends, Linda Moreland is that person!  As if it wasn’t hard enough to navigate while swaying to and fro, Linda was hopping like a bandana-ed kangaroo so that we got the whole, unfiltered experience of a swinging bridge!

After a comical sight of Suz Tiede and Amy Hammer jelly rolling themselves up the embankment to get a close-up selfie group shot, we made our way back to the bikes to decide who would stay with Noni until her husband arrived.  “No one needs to stay, you guys go on, I’ll be fine,” Noni says.  Almost in unison, 12 other Kitties said, “That’s not how we roll!  Our motto is, ‘No Kitty Left Behind’, so shut your pretty and young little mouth!”  She then went on to say how bad and embarrassed she felt and we then went on to say how each of us could recall a time we were the ones with a broke bike and someone or several someones stayed behind until help arrived.  It happens to all of us and this just happens to be your turn.  I said I got nothing better to do this afternoon and then Dawn Morse said I got nothing either.  So it was settled, Dawn and I would stay behind with Noni and the rest of the group would return to Wichita via the scenic route of Cambridge to Latham to Leon to Wichita under the leadership of Kathryn Langrehr. 

I looked at Dawn and Noni and said follow me; I know the way back to the restaurant where we can sit and have a cold drink while we wait for Mr. Noni Husband.  After making a couple of turns and nearly driving out of town, I had to admit defeat, pulled over and used Amy’s line, “I guess I got turned around.  I have no idea where we are.”  Keep in mind, this town is about the size of Town East Square, but I still managed to get us lost.  Have I not admitted I was directionally challenged on many occasions?  I consider this Dawn’s fault for allowing me to lead in the first place!  Shame on you Dawn!  Anywoo, Dawn plugged the address in her phone and thanks to technology, we found familiar territory.  We sat and chatted over ice tea, lemonade and water for a bit when the proprietor of the restaurant asked if we would like to see her rooms.  Confused, we all said what rooms?  Turns out this one time nursing home, had been turned into a hotel/restaurant about nine years ago and we got a tour of all the sleeping rooms, which were decorated in a lodge theme, with each one being different from the next.  Interestingly enough, she has had some celebrities stay there as it’s prime deer hunting territory and there are not a lot of lodging options in the area.  Two said celebrities were Justin Bieber and his father (before Justin Bieber became a bit of a brat), and George Strait.  Whoda thought??

Soon after our tour, Mr. Noni Husband arrived and we discovered he had an actual name and it’s Victor, and we met their three boys, Juni (which is short for a much longer name that I have no chance of remembering), Julius and Jo.  Victor loaded up the bike with a little assistance from us and we hugged our good-byes and Noni made me promise to not forget to send her the membership application, which I pledged to do, and then Dawn and I took off for home.  I had opted to go jacketless for the return trip which turned out to be a big mistake.  At the 400/99 juncture, Dawn asked how I was with the temperature.  She was a little chilly so assumed I must be shivering with cold.  Bless you, Dawn, for knowing me so well and now I feel bad for blaming you for allowing me to get us lost….kinda….sorta.  We pulled into a gas station to put on hoodies and off we went.  Next stop – home.

What we didn’t know while we were enjoying beverages and sitting in overstuffed, comfy furniture was that the rest of the group were having their own set of problems.  Said problems included a white knuckle ride on a treacherous gravel road battling dogs along the way and a humiliating encounter with a bee.  Obviously, I wasn’t there to report firsthand, so here is the story courtesy of Suz Tiede with a few embellishments from the editor:

“On the ride home, a bee flew down my shirt, into my cleavage and wedged itself in the bottom band of my bra.  It started stinging me but I managed to pull my bra away from my body and the bee fell down to my waistband and started stinging me again!  At 55 mph, I started ripping my tucked in shirts out of my pants and had both layers of shirts up to my neck, totally exposing everything God gave me, while pulling my bra away from my body a second time.  I was also swatting my belly to make sure nothing was there.  I swear, for the next two miles, it felt like I was being stung over and over but I suppose that was all in my head.  But what I wasn’t imagining was both shirts are now flapping in the wind…up around my chin.  I keep fighting to get them down, but we all know what a losing battle that is.  Fortunately, another crisis allowed me to finally get my shirts tucked in.  As soon we made the turn to go north at Latham, the pavement turned to gravel which was a surprise to all of us including our Lead Kitty Kathryn.  There I was minding my own business and doing my best to navigate the gravel road (which went on forever!), when I see a little girl riding her bike on the sidewalk and her three dogs were running with her….that is until a bunch of motorcycles came roaring by.  There were four Kitties ahead of me and the little girl was successful in calling off the dogs from those four, but unsuccessful in calling off the dogs from the fifth biker – ME!  The largest of the dogs was determine to take down Kitty #5 and I watched him turn and come directly at me.  First he went after the right side of my front tire and then planted himself right in front of me and stopped dead in his tracks.  As I saw it, I had three options:  1) Run him over while the little girl watches the whole ugly thing; 2) Swerve sharply on the loose gravel and potentially lay my bike down; or 3) Quickly apply the brakes and hope for the best.  I chose Option 3 and it was only by the grace of God did I stay upright on the loose gravel road.  Loose gravel, biker hating dogs and abrupt stops are not a good combination.  Unaware of what was unfolding behind them, the four Kitties ahead of us kept on going while the three Kitties behind me waited for me to redress myself from the previous bee debacle.  After I gathered my wits, we proceeded on the gravel road feeling certain we would eventually catch up with Kathryn and the others.  No such luck.  We never saw them again.  Now I’m the Lead Kitty and I have no idea where we are or how to get us home.  When we came to an intersection and had to stop for a stop sign, we all checked our phones to try to get some sense of where we were but of course, out in the middle of Nowhere Kansas, we didn’t have cell service.  Finally, a pick-up truck with two guys approached us and we were able to get directions back to Highway 400.  Turns out we were only 14 miles from Augusta.  It will remain a closely guarded secret as to what we had to show these guys to get them to give us the directions, but let’s just say I had to retuck my shirts in again.”

As I later reflected on the day and all the “issues” we had, I thought, “Wow, that was one discombobulated, messed up day.”  Sure, we normally have a problem or maybe even two problems on a ride, but we really outdid ourselves on this one!  However, I was failing to see the silver lining and looking at it all wrong.  This is how a new rider to the group summed up the day, courtesy of Alice Friedman:

“On August 20, 2016, I made my debut ride with the KKMC.  Even though my Fatboy is still in Colorado and is expected to be in Wichita soon, I was able to join the Kitties by hitching a ride with Nellie and her Slingshot.  It was such fun!

 

My husband, Gary, is from Wichita and has a deep history here, but it’s a new city to me.  I didn’t have the network of friends that I had in Colorado.  Other than Gary’s family, I didn’t know one single person   After meeting and riding with the Kitties, I now feel like I have a whole new network of friends here in Wichita.

As a new motorcycle owner, I am still a nervous rider.  I am excited to be part of the KKMC, but wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since I am on the newer side of motorcycle riding and haven’t ridden in a bigger group.  The only person that I typically ride with is Gary and on a few occasions, we have gone with one or two more riders.  One of my concerns riding with the Kitties was that I didn’t want to hold anyone back in the group and was worried if something went wrong.

My mind is now at ease, because I saw several situations that didn’t go according to plan on Saturday, and yet the Kitties took it all in stride and motored on.  Lessons and actions I saw from the ride include:

  • It’s OK to eat dessert first, especially pie
  • Even though you may take a wrong turn, the world is round, and you’ll get there
  • Stick together
  • Things happen, what’s important is how you deal with them and work through them because nothing is perfect
  • New roads hold new adventures
  • Little mishaps create memories and are great stories for later
  • Even experienced riders keep honing their skills
  • It’s important to keep practicing motorcycle riding skills
  • Be inclusive and supportive
  • Laugh at yourself
  • Be protective of one another
  • Be resilient
  • No broken down Kitty is left behind
  • Have fun and enjoy the ride

I am glad that there isn’t complete perfection in the club.  I saw that people are patient and kind when things don’t go according to the expected plan or path.  I saw how the Kitties support each other.  As a result of the adventures we shared on the Moline ride, I am thrilled to be part of such a great group of women who share a passion for motorcycle riding and camaraderie of the KKMC sisterhood.  Thank you for including me!”

‘Nuff said!  Thank you, Alice, for reminding me of what a remarkable group of ladies we have in the KKMC and thank you Kitties for being so awesome!  The Misadventures of Moline is really The Learning Lessons of Moline and as the old saying goes, “Even a bad day on a bike is a good day.”  Thank you to all those who contributed to the fun, friendship and fortitude of the day, which were Janice Friedman, Suz Tiede, Amy Hammer, Linda Moreland, Nellie Taylor, Christine Allsman, Maureen Stout, Dawn Morse, Alice Friedman, Melaina Phares, Shelley Bonnell, Kathryn Langrehr and Guest Noni Kardatzke.

See y’all on the Tom Kat Ride!

 

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The Misadventures of Moline – August 20, 2016

After the deluge of the Friday night before’s rainstorm (seriously, I was beginning to think I didn’t get the invite from Noah about joining him on the Ark.  (I mean wasn’t it the point to save two of everything and didn’t he also need two Smart Asses?), I was very pleased to see the skies had cleared and the sun was shining on the morning of Saturday, August 20th.  I put on my pretty new turquoise Kitty shirt and stepped outside.  Holy Furballs!  It’s cold out here!  So I went back inside and put on a hoodie and proceeded to go back outside only to go back inside once more to put a jacket on OVER the hoodie.  One can never be too layered on a cold August morning, am right?

As I was gassing up at the QT departure location, Linda informed me that Nellie, Suz and Colorado transplant Member and my sister-in-law Alice were going to be a little late.  Here’s the story…. Alice has a bright and shiny orange Harley Davidson Fat Boy, but it hasn’t been transplanted from Denver yet, so arrangements had been made for Alice to ride shotgun in Nellie’s Slingshot.  Linda, Nellie and Alice were all to meet at Suz’s house at 9:00ish and they would all ride to the QT together.  Well 9:00ish came and went and there was no Nellie and no Slingshot.  A phone call was made and it went a little like this, “Good morning Nellie!  Are you coming?”  To which Nellie replies, “Coming where?”  “On the Moline ride today.” To which Nellie replies, “What???!!!  Holy Crap!!!  What???!!!  Is that today???!!!  Oh my God!!!  I’m still in bed, but I can be there in 20 minutes!!  Crap, crap, crap!!!  I can’t believe I didn’t know it was today!!  Don’t leave without me!!!  I’m on the way!!!”  So that you don’t think Noah should have invited Nellie to the Ark in order to save the Dumb Asses of the world, let me explain.  As you’ll recall, the Moline ride was originally planned for Sunday and Nellie was originally not planning to go as she was to be out of town the weekend of the ride, which was later canceled.  So when changes were made to the date, Nellie didn’t pay attention since it didn’t pertain to her, hence the confusion about the ride being on Saturday and not Sunday.  But as Nellie promised, she flew out of bed and into some Kitty clothes and her Slingshot and the Augusta crew arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Before leaving for Moline, we met and welcomed guest Dominique (hereby referred to as Noni) and welcomed Alice on her first official Kitty ride and asked (or rather forced) the new ladies to buy 50/50 tickets, which turned out to be a very good decision for one of them.  You’re welcome!  We had a brief lesson on wind riding, hand signals and formation riding and biked up with Amy in the lead and Nellie and Alice riding sweep.

The route was to be west on 400 and then drop down south on 99, then go east on 160 to Moline.  As we pulled out of the QT at Kellogg and 143rd St., Amy pulled into the right hand lane and flipped on her right turn signal.  I was right behind Amy and while I’m extremely directionally challenged, I knew that turning right would take us east and not west, so I yelled Amy! Amy! Amy! and finally got her attention when someone, which I believe to be Dawn whose bike horn sounds more like a foghorn on a tug boat, got Amy’s attention.  I inched my bike up alongside her and asked, “Why are we turning right?  We should be turning left.”  Amy looked to the left and then to the right and said, “I think I got turned around.”  I motioned to just go straight across Kellogg and we could turn around.   Ironically, the very street that we pulled into to do said turnaround was the street where my ex-husband lives, so I’m very familiar with the neighborhood.  While everyone else executed a perfect U-turn in the middle of the street, I’m a true believer of going around the block in lieu of a U-turn whenever possible, so I chose that method instead.  Now we were headed in the right direction and heading west on 400.

We made the turn on 99 without incident, but in Howard Amy flipped on her right hand blinker at the high school and once again executed a perfect tight U-turn.  Shelley, who must share my philosophy of “find an easier way to turn around if at all possible”, led the group in a nice wide sweeping turnaround and I pulled up alongside Amy to see what the problem was.  Turned out she was listening to GPS directions and had lost her internet signal.  I just happened to have just seen a sign that our next road, Highway 160, was six miles away so I assured her we were on the right track so procced as she was.  Seven miles later we pulled into the Swinging Bridge Café and starting shedding layers.

We got settled at our table and the first order of business is….no, not order drinks…..no, not ask for menus….no, not go to the bathroom.  Come on you guys, you know what it is.  Order Pie!  After juggling who gets coconut cream and who gets lemon and Maureen not having to fight anyone for the Strawberry Rhubarb, we ordered the second course and enjoyed some good ole fashioned home cooking courtesy of the Swinging Bridge Café.

Then the long awaited moment came to draw the winning ticket for the 50/50 drawing.  I got all ready to win my $35.00 and offered Noni the honors of drawing one of my six numbers.  She read the number….and cue the crickets.  No exclamations of “I WON!!”  including from yours truly.  Then it occurred to us that perhaps the caller of the number held the winning ticket and sure enough, we might have pretty much robbed Noni of her $5.00 back at the QT, but she was $35.00 richer for it!  We were then all sworn to secrecy that her husband must never hear of this new found windfall.  “I mean it you guys! Kitty pinkie swear it!”   Which we, of course, obliged.

After lunch Dawn and Noni said they needed gas, so I told them we passed a gas station on the way in so why didn’t they ride to the gas station and we would sit tight.  The gas station was small and there was no reason for us all to pile in there when we didn’t need to fill up.  Okie dokie says Dawn and Noni and off they went.  After about 20 minutes, I said, “It sure seems like they’ve been gone a long time considering the gas station is about 2 blocks away.”  Amy volunteered to go find out what was going on.  After another 15 minutes went by and Amy never returned, we were starting to really wonder what the heck was going on.  Someone else volunteered to go look for them and I said, “No way!  There appears to be a black hole out there swallowing up Kitties and we can’t afford to lose another one!”  I tried to call Dawn.  Voice mail.  I tried to call Amy.  No answer.  Then I got a phone call from Amy and all I could make out before we lost the connection was, “They left town.”  Wait!  What?!  They left town?  Without seeing the bridge?  Without us?  A few minutes later we heard the roar of bikes and here comes the three MIA Kitties.  Turns out there were two issues that caused the long delay:  1)  When I said we passed a gas station on the way in, Dawn thought I meant way back in Howard, which was seven miles away.  She didn’t happen to notice the gas station just down the street so they rode the seven miles to Howard and back; and 2) Noni discovered that when she got to about 40 mph, her bike was losing power and going chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug.  Uh-oh, that don’t sound good.  It didn’t take a Buell mechanic to realize there was no way she was going to make it all the way back to Wichita.  So, she called her husband and he agreed to load their three kiddos in the pick-em-up truck and head our way.  We decided to kill some time and make our way to the Swinging Bridge.

Suz and Amy declined to make the walk on the moving bridge (something about puking up all the delicious pie if they did) and given that no one thought to bring a selfie stick and there wasn’t a stranger in sight, they took pictures from the safety of the shore.  Meanwhile the rest of us drunk walked our way across the bridge.  You know how there’s always that one person who will rock the seat on a Ferris Wheel so it starts a swingin’ until you beg them to stop?  Well my Feline Friends, Linda is that person!  As if it wasn’t hard enough to navigate while swaying to and fro, Linda was hopping like a bandana-ed kangaroo so that we got the whole, unfiltered experience of a swinging bridge!

After a comical sight of Suz and Amy jelly rolling themselves up the embankment to get a close-up selfie group shot, we made our way back to the bikes to decide who would stay with Noni until her husband arrived.  “No one needs to stay, you guys go on, I’ll be fine,” Noni says.  Almost in unison, 12 other Kitties said, “That’s not how we roll!  Our motto is, ‘No Kitty Left Behind’, so shut your pretty and young little mouth!”  She then went on to say how bad and embarrassed she felt and we then went on to say how each of us could recall a time we were the ones with a broke bike and someone or several someones stayed behind until help arrived.  It happens to all of us and this just happens to be your turn.  I said I got nothing better to do this afternoon and then Dawn said I got nothing either.  So it was settled, Dawn and I would stay behind with Noni and the rest of the group would return to Wichita via the scenic route of Cambridge to Latham to Leon to Wichita under the leadership of Kathryn. 

I looked at Dawn and Noni and said follow me; I know the way back to the restaurant where we can sit and have a cold drink while we wait for Mr. Noni Husband.  After making a couple of turns and nearly driving out of town, I had to admit defeat, pulled over and used Amy’s line, “I guess I got turned around.  I have no idea where we are.”  Keep in mind, this town is about the size of Town East Square, but I still managed to get us lost.  Have I not admitted I was directionally challenged on many occasions?  I consider this Dawn’s fault for allowing me to lead in the first place!  Shame on you Dawn!  Anywhoo, Dawn plugged the address in her phone and thanks to technology, we found familiar territory.  We sat and chatted over ice tea, lemonade and water for a bit when the proprietor of the restaurant asked if we would like to see her rooms.  Confused, we all said what rooms?  Turns out this one time nursing home, had been turned into a hotel/restaurant about nine years ago and we got a tour of all the sleeping rooms, which were decorated in a lodge theme, with each one being different from the next.  Interestingly enough, she has had some celebrities stay there as it’s prime deer hunting territory and there are not a lot of lodging options in the area.  Two said celebrities were Justin Bieber and his father (before Justin Bieber became a bit of a brat), and George Strait.  Whoda thought??

Soon after our tour, Mr. Noni Husband arrived and we discovered he had an actual name and it’s Victor, and we met their three boys, Juni (which is short for a much longer name that I have no chance of remembering), Julius and Jo.  Victor loaded up the bike with a little assistance from us and we hugged our good-byes and Noni made me promise to not forget to send her the membership application, which I pledged to do, and then Dawn and I took off for home.  I had opted to go jacketless for the return trip which turned out to be a big mistake.  At the 400/99 juncture, Dawn asked how I was with the temperature.  She was a little chilly so assumed I must be shivering with cold.  Bless you, Dawn, for knowing me so well and now I feel bad for blaming you for allowing me to get us lost….kinda….sorta.  We pulled into a gas station to put on hoodies and off we went.  Next stop – home.

What we didn’t know while we were enjoying beverages and sitting in overstuffed, comfy furniture was that the rest of the group were having their own set of problems.  Said problems included a white knuckle ride on a treacherous gravel road battling dogs along the way.   and a humiliating encounter with a bee.  Obviously, I wasn’t there to report firsthand, so here is the story courtesy of Suz with a few embellishments from the editor:

“On the ride home, a bee flew down my shirt and wedged itself in the bottom band of my bra.  It started stinging me but I managed to pull my bra away from my body and the bee fell down to my waistband and started stinging me again!  At 55 mph, I started ripping my tucked in shirts out of my pants and had both layers of shirts up to my neck, totally exposing everything God gave me, while pulling my bra away from my body a second time.  I was also swatting my belly to make sure nothing was there.  I swear, for the next two miles, it felt like I was being stung over and over but I suppose that was all in my head.  But what I wasn’t imagining was both shirts are now flapping in the wind…up around my chin.  I keep fighting to get them down, but we all know what a losing battle that is.  Fortunately, another crisis allowed me to finally get my shirts tucked in.  As soon we made the turn to go north at Latham, the pavement turned to gravel which was a surprise to all of us including our Lead Kitty Kathryn.  There I was minding my own business and doing my best to navigate the gravel road (which went on forever!), when I see a little girl riding her bike on the sidewalk and her three dogs were running with her….that is until a bunch of motorcycles came roaring by.  There were four Kitties ahead of me and the little girl was successful in calling off the dogs from those four, but unsuccessful in calling off the dogs from the fifth biker – ME!  The largest of the dogs was determine to take down Kitty #5 and I watched him turn and come directly at me.  First he went after the right side of my front tire and then planted himself right in front of me and stopped dead in his tracks.  As I saw it, I had three options:  1) Run him over while the little girl watches the whole ugly thing; 2) Swerve sharply on the loose gravel and potentially lay my bike down; or 3) Quickly apply the brakes and hope for the best.  I chose Option 3 and it was only by the grace of God did I stay upright on the loose gravel road.  Loose gravel, biker hating dogs and abrupt stops are not a good combination.  Unaware of what was unfolding behind them, the four Kitties ahead of us kept on going while the three Kitties behind me waited for me to redress myself from the previous bee debacle.  After I gathered my wits, we proceeded on the gravel road feeling certain we would eventually catch up with Kathryn and the others.  No such luck.  We never saw them again.  Now I’m the Lead Kitty and I have no idea where we are or how to get us home.  When we came to an intersection and had to stop for a stop sign, we all checked our phones to try to get some sense of where we were but of course, out in the middle of Nowhere Kansas, we didn’t have cell service.  Finally, a pick-up truck with two guys approached us and we were able to get directions back to Highway 400.  Turns out we were only 14 miles from Augusta.” 

As I later reflected on the day and all the “issues” we had, I thought, “Wow, that was one discombobulated, messed up day.”  Sure, we normally have a problem or maybe even two problems on a ride, but we really outdid ourselves on this one!  However, I was failing to see the silver lining and looking at it all wrong.  This is how a new rider to the group summed up the day, courtesy of Alice:

“On August 20, 2016, I made my debut ride with the KKMC.  Even though my Fatboy is still in Colorado and is expected to be in Wichita soon, I was able to join the Kitties by hitching a ride with Nellie and her Slingshot.  It was such fun!

My husband, Gary, is from Wichita and has a deep history here, but it’s a new city to me.  I didn’t have the network of friends that I had in Colorado.  Other than Gary’s family, I didn’t know one single person   After meeting and riding with the Kitties, I now feel like I have a whole new network of friends here in Wichita.

As a new motorcycle owner, I am still a nervous rider.  I am excited to be part of the KKMC, but wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since I am on the newer side of motorcycle riding and haven’t ridden in a bigger group.  The only person that I typically ride with is Gary and on a few occasions, we have gone with one or two more riders.  One of my concerns riding with the Kitties was that I didn’t want to hold anyone back in the group and was worried if something went wrong.

My mind is now at ease, because I saw several situations that didn’t go according to plan on Saturday, and yet the Kitties took it all in stride and motored on.  Lessons and actions I saw from the ride include:

  • It’s OK to eat dessert first, especially pie
  • Even though you may take a wrong turn, the world is round, and you’ll get there
  • Stick together
  • Things happen, what’s important is how you deal with them and work through them because nothing is perfect
  • New roads hold new adventures
  • Little mishaps create memories and are great stories for later
  • Even experienced riders keep honing their skills
  • It’s important to keep practicing motorcycle riding skills
  • Be inclusive and supportive
  • Laugh at yourself
  • Be protective of one another
  • Be resilient
  • No broken down Kitty is left behind
  • Have fun and enjoy the ride

I am glad that there isn’t complete perfection in the club.  I saw that people are patient and kind when things don’t go according to the expected plan or path.  I saw how the Kitties support each other.  As a result of the adventures we shared on the Moline ride, I am thrilled to be part of such a great group of women who share a passion for motorcycle riding and camaraderie of the KKMC sisterhood.  Thank you for including me!”

‘Nuff said!  Thank you, Alice, for reminding me of what a remarkable group of ladies we have in the KKMC and thank you Kitties for being so awesome!  The Misadventures of Moline is really The Learning Lessons of Moline and as the old saying goes, “Even a bad day on a bike is a good day.”  Thank you to all those who contributed to the fun, friendship and fortitude of the day, which were Janice, Suz, Amy, Linda, Nellie, Christine, Maureen, Dawn, Alice, Melaina, Shelley, Kathryn and Guest Noni.

 

Janice – Founder of KKMC

 

Ponca City 5

Puttering Around Ponca City – April 16, 2016

Indecison.  Nine times out of ten, that’s how all the April rides start – do we go or do we stay?  Keeping with tradition, this April ride was no different.  Suz Tiede and I traded texts all week leading up to the Saturday, April 16th ride day.  We scrutinized the weather forecast multiple times a day and each time the chance of rain dropped be even 1%, we would shoot off another text and say, “Did you see the rain forecast is now only 59% instead of 60%?!”  Knowing it would be a game day decision, I went to bed on Friday night and just hoped for the best.  What I woke up to on Saturday morning definitely wasn’t the “best” but it was dry and the radar that Suz and I had become best friends with said, “Damn girls, you’re driving me crazy this week!  If you want to go so bad, then just get the heck out of here and I’ll hold off dumping water until after you get back.”  Knowing Mr. Radar could be pranking us, I posted on Facebook to pack rain suits, but we got a break and we’re taking it!  So, ten Kitties rolled into the Derby Quik Trip parking lot, all leathered up and ready to ride.  Well, nearly everyone.  One Kitty rolled in all canvassed up and ready to ride.  Maureen Stout thought “dress warm” meant a canvas jacket with a long-sleeved shirt or two underneath.  It only took the ride to Derby to realize the error her ways and announced leather doesn’t always have to mean leather.  “Did you know you can make your own leather by putting a nylon rain jacket over top of a canvas jacket?”  That Maureen – always a rebel!

After saying our hellos, exchanging hugs, welcoming new member Shelley Donnell to the group, selling 50/50 tickets and gassing up, we rolled out of the QT parking lot with Linda Moreland in the lead and Nellie Taylor and her Batmobile bringing up the rear.  Next stop – Ponca City, USA!

The ride to Ponca City was uneventful and by eventful, I mean we didn’t get rained on.  Sure, there were a few drizzles that had us all holding our breath that it wasn’t the start of a bad thing, but Mr. Radar held true to his word and Linda Moreland led 10 dry and happy, albeit windblown, Kitties right to the parking lot of Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant.

Let’s just make it official, shall we?  From this day forward, I declare that April rides will forever be known as the Suz Tiede Family Reunion Ride.  Last April, we were greeted by and had lunch with Suz’s family in Attica.  This year we were greeted by and had lunch with Suz’s family in Ponca City.  Suz, since you appear to have family scattered all over the states of Kansas and Oklahoma, please start now in finding us more family to greet and eat with us next April.  There to welcome us to Ponca City were Uncle CW (no one seems to know what CW stands for but I like to think it’s for Cats (gone) Wild), Aunt Nona, Cousin Kimmie and her husband, Big Steve (really, he should be known as Huge Steve because this guy is T.A.L.L.!)

After getting to know Suz’s family; enjoying some pillow chips and salsa; chowing on some darn good Mexican food; and thoroughly discussing the merits of fried pie, it was time to finally give yours truly the 50/50 proceeds.  I mean, at some point odds are I gotta win, right?  Well, no I sure don’t gotta!  Cousin Kimmie did the honors (or dishonor if you’re a loser like me) and pulled the winning ticket for the $25.00 which happened to be in Rebel Maureen Stout’s hot little paws.  Damn!  Robbed again!  Someday Little Orange and Black Flame Bag, you’ll be mine…all mine I say!

Not wanting to push our luck by overstaying our welcome in Ponca City and risking Mr. Radar turning on the faucet, we decided to forego the Marland Mansion tour.  Instead Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie (who rides a big ole Harley because after all, you can’t put Huge Steve on a small ole Harley) offered to lead us to a few points of interest in Ponca City.  By now, we had lost Kathryn Langrehr and Shelley Bonnell who had opted to leave from the restaurant to head back home.  So, eight Kitties rode to the first sightseeing stop on the tour, which was the Pioneer Woman monument.  This is a bronze sculpture donated to Ponca City by none other than E.W. Marland (original owner of the Marland Mansion) in 1930.  It was to honor the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships typical of the daily lives of the pioneers in this country.  (Given this criterion, don’t you think there should be a Krome Kitty monument?  After all, we brave danger and endure hardships all the time.  Please refer to the Oh Hail No ride for an example.)  It was very awe inspiring, but what we really saw was PHOTO OP!  The statue is erected on a pyramid of stones which E.W. Marland thoughtlessly failed to provide steps to.  I mean how is one to get up to the first level without steps?  I’ll tell you how, you belly flop your way up, that’s how!  With a not so gentle butt push from a sister Kitty, I managed to roll myself up to the top level.  I then look up from my prone position to see Linda Moreland and Maureen Stout already there, standing upright.  Those aren’t Krome Kitties, those are Mountain Lions with all their nimbleness and sprightliness!

After making a drive-by the Marland Mansion and wishing the weather would have been more cooperative and vowing to take another go at it in the future, we rode the short distance to Standing Bear Park where there is a 22-foot bronze statue erected in honor of Standing Bear, a Ponca Native American Chief.  Again, what we saw in addition to something actually taller than Huge Steve was PHOTO OP!  Sue Morrissey and Sueanne Rugh opted to keep Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie company at the bikes, while the other six Kitties hiked our way through the park to the monument.  We snapped lots of pictures, Suz Tiede took a refreshment break and then it was time to go find that infamous fried pie that Sueanne Rugh raved about during the entire lunch.  Huge Steve offered to lead us to pie nirvana, which he thought was about 15 miles away.  Soon we were pulling into a gas station along Interstate 35 and I thought, “This is where the fried pie is?”  Turns out it is where Huge Steve THOUGHT it was, but after consulting with Know It All Google, we discovered it was another 5 or 6 miles away.  Again, not wanting push our luck, we gassed up and decided to let the south winds push us back to Wichita.  We said our good-byes to Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie and as we were pulling away, they called, “Y’all come back now, ya hear?”  To which we replied, “You bet your sweet fried pie we will!”  A colossal thank you to Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie for being our welcoming committee, our tour guide and our new friends in Ponca City!  You guys are the best!

So, that’s how we spent the day that almost never happened puttering around Ponca City.  It was a great way to start Season #12 and a big ole’ Kitty Kiss goes to Suz Tiede and Denise Johnson for planning a fun-filled day for us!  Those on board for the “Putteirng Around Ponca City” trip was Janice Friedman, Suz Tiede, Kathryn Langrehr, Shelley Bonnell, Sue Morrissey, Sueanne Rugh, Maureen Stout, Christine Allsman, Nellie Taylor and Linda Moreland.

Ponca City 5

Puttering Around Ponca City – April 16, 2016

Indecison.  Nine times out of ten, that’s how all the April rides start – do we go or do we stay?  Keeping with tradition, this April ride was no different.  Suz and I traded texts all week leading up to the Saturday, April 16th ride day.  We scrutinized the weather forecast multiple times a day and each time the chance of rain dropped be even 1%, we would shoot off another text and say, “Did you see the rain forecast is now only 59% instead of 60%?!”  Knowing it would be a game day decision, I went to bed on Friday night and just hoped for the best.  What I woke up to on Saturday morning definitely wasn’t the “best” but it was dry and the radar that Suz and I had become best friends with said, “Damn girls, you’re driving me crazy this week!  If you want to go so bad, then just get the heck out of here and I’ll hold off dumping water until after you get back.”  Knowing Mr. Radar could be pranking us, I posted on Facebook to pack rain suits, but we got a break and we’re taking it!  So, ten Kitties rolled into the Derby Quik Trip parking lot, all leathered up and ready to ride.  Well, nearly everyone.  One Kitty rolled in all canvassed up and ready to ride.  Maureen thought “dress warm” meant a canvas jacket with a long-sleeved shirt or two underneath.  It only took the ride to Derby to realize the error her ways and announced leather doesn’t always have to mean leather.  “Did you know you can make your own leather by putting a nylon rain jacket over top of a canvas jacket?”  That Maureen – always a rebel!

After saying our hellos, exchanging hugs, welcoming new member Shelley to the group, selling 50/50 tickets and gassing up, we rolled out of the QT parking lot with Linda in the lead and Nellie and her Batmobile bringing up the rear.  Next stop – Ponca City, USA!

The ride to Ponca City was uneventful and by eventful, I mean we didn’t get rained on.  Sure, there were a few drizzles that had us all holding our breath that it wasn’t the start of a bad thing, but Mr. Radar held true to his word and Linda led 10 dry and happy, albeit windblown, Kitties right to the parking lot of Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant.

Let’s just make it official, shall we?  From this day forward, I declare that April rides will forever be known as the Suz Family Reunion Ride.  Last April, we were greeted by and had lunch with Suz’s family in Attica.  This year we were greeted by and had lunch with Suz’s family in Ponca City.  Suz, since you appear to have family scattered all over the states of Kansas and Oklahoma, please start now in finding us more family to greet and eat with us next April.  There to welcome us to Ponca City were Uncle CW (no one seems to know what CW stands for but I like to think it’s for Cats (gone) Wild), Aunt Nona, Cousin Kimmie and her husband, Big Steve (really, he should be known as Huge Steve because this guy is T.A.L.L.!)

After getting to know Suz’s family; enjoying some pillow chips and salsa; chowing on some darn good Mexican food; and thoroughly discussing the merits of fried pie, it was time to finally give yours truly the 50/50 proceeds.  I mean, at some point odds are I gotta win, right?  Well, no I sure don’t gotta!  Cousin Kimmie did the honors (or dishonor if you’re a loser like me) and pulled the winning ticket for the $25.00 which happened to be in Rebel Maureen’s hot little paws.  Damn!  Robbed again!  Someday Little Orange and Black Flame Bag, you’ll be mine…all mine I say!

Not wanting to push our luck by overstaying our welcome in Ponca City and risking Mr. Radar turning on the faucet, we decided to forego the Marland Mansion tour.  Instead Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie (who rides a big ole Harley because after all, you can’t put Huge Steve on a small ole Harley) offered to lead us to a few points of interest in Ponca City.  By now, we had lost Kathryn and Shelley who had opted to leave from the restaurant to head back home.  So, eight Kitties rode to the first sightseeing stop on the tour, which was the Pioneer Woman monument.  This is a bronze sculpture donated to Ponca City by none other than E.W. Marland (original owner of the Marland Mansion) in 1930.  It was to honor the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships typical of the daily lives of the pioneers in this country.  (Given this criterion, don’t you think there should be a Krome Kitty monument?  After all, we brave danger and endure hardships all the time.)  It was very awe inspiring, but what we really saw was PHOTO OP!  The statue is erected on a pyramid of stones which E.W. Marland thoughtlessly failed to provide steps to.  I mean how is one to get up to the first level without steps?  I’ll tell you how, you belly flop your way up, that’s how!  With a not so gentle butt push from a sister Kitty, I managed to roll myself up to the top level.  I then look up from my prone position to see Linda and Maureen already there, standing upright.  Those aren’t Krome Kitties, those are Mountain Lions with all their nimbleness and sprightliness!

After making a drive-by the Marland Mansion and wishing the weather would have been more cooperative and vowing to take another go at it in the future, we rode the short distance to Standing Bear Park where there is a 22-foot bronze statue erected in honor of Standing Bear, a Ponca Native American Chief.  Again, what we saw in addition to something actually taller than Huge Steve was PHOTO OP!  Sue and Sueanne opted to keep Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie company at the bikes, while the other six Kitties hiked our way through the park to the monument.  We snapped lots of pictures, Suz took a refreshment break and then it was time to go find that infamous fried pie that Sueanne raved about during the entire lunch.  Huge Steve offered to lead us to pie nirvana, which he thought was about 15 miles away.  Soon we were pulling into a gas station along Interstate 35 and I thought, “This is where the fried pie is?”  Turns out it is where Huge Steve THOUGHT it was, but after consulting with Know It All Google, we discovered it was another 5 or 6 miles away.  Again, not wanting push our luck, we gassed up and decided to let the south winds push us back to Wichita.  We said our good-byes to Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie and as we were pulling away, they called, “Y’all come back now, ya hear?”  To which we replied, “You bet your sweet fried pie we will!”  A colossal thank you to Huge Steve and Cousin Kimmie for being our welcoming committee, our tour guide and our new friends in Ponca City!  You guys are the best!

So, that’s how we spent the day that almost never happened puttering around Ponca City.  It was a great way to start Season #12 and a big ole’ Kitty Kiss goes to Suz and Denise for planning a fun-filled day for us!  Those on board for the “Putteirng Around Ponca City” trip was Janice, Suz, Kathryn, Shelley, Sue, Sueanne, Maureen, Christine, Nellie and Linda.

 

Janice – Founder of KKMC