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Four Wheeling to Winfield – October 14, 2018

Nailed it!  That’s right my Feline Friends, although you never really quite know if the decision you make several days prior to a Kitty ride is the right one, we nailed this one! 

When the October 14th Road Trip was in the early planning stages, it called for seasonably warm temperatures and clear skies.  With each passing day, the seasonably warm temperatures became unseasonably cold temperatures and Mother Nature also decided to throw in a strong chance of rain.  Several days before, I reached out to Kathryn and Suz and said we gotta pull the trigger.  Either we cancel altogether or we caravan by car.  Both Kathryn and Suz agreed a little bit of cold and a whole lotta rain shouldn’t stop us from still getting together.  OK, let’s end this season the same way we started it – caravan it is!  Then I spent the next several days waffling between hoping the weather would improve so we could ride and hoping it wouldn’t so we wouldn’t have to change the plans at the last minute – and I could say we were right.  Bragging rights are very important.

Well, I bragged all over myself when I woke up that Saturday morning and it was raining and it didn’t look like the kind of rain that was leaving anytime soon.  That was the first time I said, “Man, we sure got that right.”  There were many other times I said that as it never stopped raining the entire time we were gone.  Not once.  And as a matter of fact, it got colder and it rained harder as we travelled back home that day.  Did I mention that we sure got that right?!

Alice picked me up and when we arrived at the QT meetin’ spot, Kitties were hunkered down in their assigned cars taking shelter from the rain.  Soon after, Susan arrived and after checking with my soaking wet, nearly falling to pieces, roll call sheet, that meant everyone was present and accounted for.  While we were leaving earlier than expected (because ain’t nobody going to stand around and chat in those conditions), we hit the road for Winfield USA.   

Upon arriving in Winfield, we hooked up with Bobbie and Dawn who rode directly to Winfield, and there was Dawn taking pictures of some sculptures outside the restaurant…in the rain.  Trust Dawn to flip her nose at the weather and not care one wit about how wet she was getting to get the perfect pictures.  The rest of us…well, we beelined it for the door and yelled “Hi Dawn” as we ran by. 

Once inside, we welcomed and introduced ourselves to Kathryn’s guest, Cindy.  When Kathryn told me days prior that she was bringing a guest, I assumed this was a long-time friend of hers.  Well, you know what happens when you “assume” something – it makes an ass out of you and me….but this time, just me.  Turns out Kathryn had just met Cindy….at Home Depot….yep, total stranger….who Kathryn’s tag-along friend introduced her to….at Home Depot.  Talk about risky business!  Cindy could have been an ax murderer or a Kitty snatcher!  However, turns out Cindy was just a sweet gal out buying padlocks….at Home Depot….to prevent her no-good, cheatin’ husband from getting his stuff out of the shed, garage and house.  After hearing the story about Cindy’s husband and what he did to sweet Cindy, he shouldn’t just be locked out, he should be locked up!  Some men just gotta be scoundrels!  Kathryn’s good vibes about Cindy were spot on and she fit right in like she had been a part of our gang for years.  Rumor has it that she ”just might have to” join the Kitties! 

The restaurant, Shindigs, sat our group of 11 upstairs where there wasn’t another soul in sight.  Silly Shindigs!  That’s just begging us to be loud and boisterous!  Well, you asked for it and we’re going to give it to you…and then some! We talked, we laughed, we shared, we emphasized and we made a cold, wet day that could have been spent closed up in our homes, a beautiful day making memories with friends.  And we did it loudly! 

For one lucky Kitty, it was a day for making money!  After counting out the cold, hard cash in the flamed bag, it looked like we had $25.00 up for grabs….well, up for grabs if you got the winning ticket!  And that fortunate Kitty was none other than Kathryn!  My guess is Kathryn will be spending that money on a rock, or a bush, or a toilet or some other necessity for the home she’s building…with her own two hands.  I’m not kidding.  The woman is like Wonder Woman with all that she can do on her own.  When I die, I wanna come back as Kathryn. 

After grabbing one of the wait staff to snap a group photo, it was time to make one last potty stop and reconvene into our assigned cars for the trip back to Wichita.  By the way, this has to go on record of the fewest pictures ever taken on a Kitty Road Trip.  I’m sure Dawn is happy about not having to find space for my customary 156 pictures in the newsletter.  You’re welcome! 

That’s a wrap and drop the mic!  We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added eight, yes I said EIGHT, new Kitties (Kim, Lily and Lori [returning Kitties which confirms that Once a Kitty Always a Kitty!], Krista, Deborah, Stephanie, Tresny and Susan); we demonstrated our talents and proved Kitties Rock by painting rocks; we boo’d and hissed at the Mosley Street Melodrama; we filled Easter buckets for the children residing at the WFCC; we patched ourselves up with Road Names; we got buttoned up with International Female Ride Day buttons; we posed like Supermodels in photo shoots [thank you again Gary and Alice!); we traveled around the world on our Meow Mixers; we showed our patriotic spirt and rode in the Shortest Parade in Wichita; we collected badly needed items for the WFCC and treated the residents to fun, games and ice cream; we caravanned our way through rain to Buhler, KS in April; we tu-tued our way to Abilene, KS in May [and wished we had caravanned – it was cold and wet!]; we visited the underground in Ellinwood in June; we nearly melted going to Bartlesville, OK and Tahlequah, OK for our Annual Overnighter in July; we got free bandanas [we love free anything!] in Wynona, OK in August; we Tom-Katted our way to Ponca City, OK in September; and we made the best of a bad weather situation by driving to Winfield, KS in October.  A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 14th riding season one to remember.  A MASSIVE thank you to Suz and Kathryn for finding us fun and interesting places to go to this season and to Dawn and Alice for taking us around the world with international cuisine Meow Mixers, organizing the charity events and planning fun Winter Events!  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 2019, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the “Four Wheeling to Winfield” Road Trip were Queenie, Tink, Lady, BatKat, da Vinci; Glitter, Ice, AliKat, BadA$$, Susan and Guest Cindy.

Janice – KKMC Founder

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Four Wheeling to Winfield – October 14, 2018

Nailed it!  That’s right my Feline Friends, although you never really quite know if the decision you make several days prior to a Kitty ride is the right one, we nailed this one! 

When the October 14th Road Trip was in the early planning stages, it called for seasonably warm temperatures and clear skies.  With each passing day, the seasonably warm temperatures became unseasonably cold temperatures and Mother Nature also decided to throw in a strong chance of rain.  Several days before, I reached out to Kathryn Langrehr and Suz Tiede and said we gotta pull the trigger.  Either we cancel altogether or we caravan by car.  Both Kathryn and Suz agreed a little bit of cold and a whole lotta rain shouldn’t stop us from still getting together.  OK, let’s end this season the same way we started it – caravan it is!  Then I spent the next several days waffling between hoping the weather would improve so we could ride and hoping it wouldn’t so we wouldn’t have to change the plans at the last minute – and I could say we were right.  Bragging rights are very important.

Well, I bragged all over myself when I woke up that Saturday morning and it was raining and it didn’t look like the kind of rain that was leaving anytime soon.  That was the first time I said, “Man, we sure got that right.”  There were many other times I said that as it never stopped raining the entire time we were gone.  Not once.  And as a matter of fact, it got colder and it rained harder as we travelled back home that day.  Did I mention that we sure got that right?!

Alice Friedman picked me up and when we arrived at the QT meetin’ spot, Kitties were hunkered down in their assigned cars taking shelter from the rain.  Soon after, Susan Heller arrived and after checking with my soaking wet, nearly falling to pieces, roll call sheet, that meant everyone was present and accounted for.  While we were leaving earlier than expected (because ain’t nobody going to stand around and chat in those conditions), we hit the road for Winfield USA.   

Upon arriving in Winfield, we hooked up with Bobbie Cole and Dawn Morse who rode directly to Winfield, and there was Dawn taking pictures of some sculptures outside the restaurant…in the rain.  Trust Dawn to flip her nose at the weather and not care one wit about how wet she was getting to get the perfect pictures.  The rest of us…well, we beelined it for the door and yelled “Hi Dawn” as we ran by. 

Once inside, we welcomed and introduced ourselves to Kathryn Langrehr’s guest, Cindy Barker.  When Kathryn told me days prior that she was bringing a guest, I assumed this was a long-time friend of hers.  Well, you know what happens when you “assume” something – it makes an ass out of you and me….but this time, just me.  Turns out Kathryn had just met Cindy….at Home Depot….yep, total stranger….who Kathryn’s tag-along friend introduced her to….at Home Depot.  Talk about risky business!  Cindy could have been an ax murderer or a Kitty snatcher!  However, turns out Cindy was just a sweet gal out buying padlocks….at Home Depot….to prevent her no-good, cheatin’ husband from getting his stuff out of the shed, garage and house.  After hearing the story about Cindy’s husband and what he did to sweet Cindy, he shouldn’t just be locked out, he should be locked up!  Some men just gotta be scoundrels!  Kathryn’s good vibes about Cindy were spot on and she fit right in like she had been a part of our gang for years.  Rumor has it that she ”just might have to” join the Kitties! 

The restaurant, Shindigs, sat our group of 11 upstairs where there wasn’t another soul in sight.  Silly Shindigs!  That’s just begging us to be loud and boisterous!  Well, you asked for it and we’re going to give it to you…and then some! We talked, we laughed, we shared, we emphasized and we made a cold, wet day that could have been spent closed up in our homes, a beautiful day making memories with friends.  And we did it loudly! 

For one lucky Kitty, it was a day for making money!  After counting out the cold, hard cash in the flamed bag, it looked like we had $25.00 up for grabs….well, up for grabs if you got the winning ticket!  And that fortunate Kitty was none other than Kathryn Langrehr!  My guess is Kathryn will be spending that money on a rock, or a bush, or a toilet or some other necessity for the home she’s building…with her own two hands.  I’m not kidding.  The woman is like Wonder Woman with all that she can do on her own.  When I die, I wanna come back as Kathryn. 

After grabbing one of the wait staff to snap a group photo, it was time to make one last potty stop and reconvene into our assigned cars for the trip back to Wichita.  By the way, this has to go on record of the fewest pictures ever taken on a Kitty Road Trip.  I’m sure Dawn Morse is happy about not having to find space for my customary 156 pictures in the newsletter.  You’re welcome! 

That’s a wrap and drop the mic!  We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added eight, yes I said EIGHT, new Kitties (Kim Jones, Lily Nordyke and Lori Gibbs [returning Kitties which confirms that Once a Kitty Always a Kitty!], Krista Cotterill, Deborah Barker, Stephanie Rodriguez, Tresny Janzen and Susan Heller); we demonstrated our talents and proved Kitties Rock by painting rocks; we boo’d and hissed at the Mosley Street Melodrama; we filled Easter buckets for the children residing at the WFCC; we patched ourselves up with Road Names; we got buttoned up with International Female Ride Day buttons; we posed like Supermodels in photo shoots [thank you again Gary and Alice Friedman!]; we traveled around the world on our Meow Mixers; we showed our patriotic spirt and rode in the Shortest Parade in Wichita; we collected badly needed items for the WFCC and treated the residents to fun, games and ice cream; we caravanned our way through rain to Buhler, KS in April; we tu-tued our way to Abilene, KS in May [and wished we had caravanned – it was cold and wet!]; we visited the underground in Ellinwood in June; we nearly melted going to Bartlesville, OK and Tahlequah, OK for our Annual Overnighter in July; we got free bandanas [we love free anything!] in Wynona, OK in August; we Tom-Katted our way to Ponca City, OK in September; and we made the best of a bad weather situation by driving to Winfield, KS in October.  A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 14th riding season one to remember.  A MASSIVE thank you to Suz Tiede and Kathryn Langrehr for finding us fun and interesting places to go to this season and to Dawn Morse and Alice Friedman for taking us around the world with international cuisine Meow Mixers, organizing the charity events and planning fun Winter Events!  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 2019, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the “Four Wheeling to Winfield” Road Trip were Queenie, Tink, Lady, BatKat, da Vinci; Glitter, Ice, AliKat, BadA$$, Susan Heller and Guest Cindy Barker.

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South of the Border – September 16, 2018


“P” may be for Ponca City, but for the September 16th Tom Kat ride, “P” was also for Perfect as we couldn’t have ordered up a more spectacular day for riding.  Clear skies, bright sunshine and not a breath of wind.  I would even go so far as to say that might have been the warmest Tom Kat ride we’ve ever had.  While most of us rode to the QuikTrip in Derby with jackets, they were quickly shed and we never saw them again.  Some of us packed our jackets in our saddle bags prior to leaving for the ride.  Not so with Nellie!  She took off her jacket and stowed it in between her bike and windshield…while riding to Ponca City!  That’s some skill right there!  That would have been a lost jacket if it were me.

When my Tom Kat, Greg, and I arrived at the QT at 8:30 on the dot, Kim and Kathryn were already there.  “How come you guys are here so early?” I asked.  Kim responded, “We had to stake out our No Tom Kat Zone.  Here’s the line (which she designated with her foot) and don’t you even think about crossing it if you got a man with you!” Duly noted Kim and Kathryn

Within minutes, beautiful bike after beautiful bike came pouring into the parking lot and just like Kim, we had our parking zone clearly designated…that is until a big ole rig pulled right smack dap in the middle of it.  Obviously, the driver doesn’t adhere to rules like the Kitties and Tom Kats do!  Fortunately, he didn’t stay long and we filled it up to guarantee that wouldn’t happen again. 

After making our greetings, getting beverages, breakfast burritos and donuts, I pulled out the flamed bag and starting pimping 50/50 tickets.  After witnessing my juggling struggle of tea, the bag, my phone, the tickets and money, Kathryn said, “You are bound to drop something, so why don’t you let me sell the tickets?”  I was happy to turn that over to Kathryn, who quickly enlisted the help of Annette, and I proceeded to snap picture after picture.  As I watched the time and took roll call, I noticed that a potential new member/guest rider and her Tom Kat, who I didn’t know and no one knew, weren’t there.  I checked every method for her to contact me and nope, not a word.  At this point, if she wasn’t on her way (in which case she wouldn’t see any messages from me), she wouldn’t make it on time.  I held a brief meeting to divide up the groups and announced that since the MIA rider was the reason we were stopping in Ark City for gas, we would no longer need to do that.  As we biked up to leave with Nellie’s Tom Kat, JT (who was caging it), in the lead of the first group and my Tom Kat, Greg, and I in the lead of the second group, I crossed my fingers that we weren’t leaving Mr. and Mrs. MIA behind. 

Greg and I quickly lost sight of the first group and we all settled in for a gorgeous ride in the Kansas countryside while George Michael, Neil Diamond, Air Supply and Whitney Houston pumped music into my ears.  Hey, don’t judge!  It’s my playlist and I make no apologies for my music taste, or lack thereof!   As we got closer and closer to the Oklahoma state line, I was watching my handlebar-mounted clock and I could see that by skipping the gas stop in Ark City, we were gong to be WAY early for our 11:30 reservation at the El Patio Mexican Grill and Cantina.  In fact, they might not even be open yet! That was an epic fail on the trip planner’s timeline which was, of course, developed by yours truly.  Had I thought of that sooner, we could have had a second beverage, a second breakfast burrito and several more donuts at the QuikTrip.  At my first opportunity, I told Greg the situation and he suggested we go ahead and get gas for the return trip.  Sounds like a plan to me!  Of course, I then stressed over the fact that the first group would be wondering and worried over what happened to us.  Now I’m stressed over Mr. and Mrs. MIA and what the other group might be thinking at the same time.  Fortunately, Freddy Mercury helped eased my anxiety.  Hey, I said no judging!

After a quick gas stop, we pulled into the El Patio parking lot where the first group was lounging on a bench and curbs and chatting with one another.  Not one person seemed to be worried about what happened to us.  Clearly, I way overthink things.  No sooner had we pulled in the parking lot, along came Sherri and her friend, Cheryl.  Is it confusing to have a friend with almost the exact same name?  Sherri and Cheryl had ridden in from Oklahoma City and although they were in the same state, they actually rode further than we did!  And this is why we call Sherri “Hard Core!”

I then went inside the restaurant and said, “I know we’re super early, but I wanted you to know that the Krome Kitties are here so when you’re ready, we’re ready.”  I gotta give mad props to the wait staff as they directed us to the el patio for al fresco dining (yes, I’m fully aware that I mixed two countries in the same sentence, but that’s how multi-cultural I am) and scrambled to get tables arranged in the shade for 23 people and menus in all of our hands.  And the scrambling didn’t end there.  They scurried about to keep chip baskets, salsa dishes and drinks full.  And amazingly, all 23 delicious meals came out at the same time!   This was even more remarkable when some of us went inside to use the restroom and saw the entire restaurant was packed!  This definitely deserves a five-star rating on Kelp, which is the Krome Kitty restaurant rating system.  That I just invented.  That we should start using.  Because it’s better than Yelp.

After digging out all the cash from the flamed bag, I turned it over to Bobbie to count and there was 110 smackeroos in there!  That meant that some lucky Kitty or Tom Kat was going home with 55 of them!  I gave David the honors of drawing the ticket.  Why David, you ask?  Well, even though his Kitty, Tricia, couldn’t attend the ride, David said he still wanted to go and he brought his friend Joe, too!  I figured any Tom Kat who attended the Tom Kat ride without being forced….uh, I mean, accompanied by a Kitty deserves some special recognition.  And apparently, he deserves being paid, too, because he drew his very own ticket!  David made me promise to not tell Tricia he won so I’m hoping by the time this is published, he has long spent the money and Tricia can’t confiscate it from him.  If not, well…my bad David!

And then it was time to reunite the pint-sized Tom Kats and I gotta say the Friedman Tom Kat is a little worse for wear compared to all the other still shiny, still got all their faces on, and still talking Tom Kats.  Thank you to Dorrin, Jim, and Al for taking such good care of your Toms!  JT, shame on you!  When I asked where his Tom Kat was, he said, “I don’t know.  The last time I saw him, he was in a storage compartment in the Slingshot.”  I asked, “You have no idea where he could be?”  To which JT replied, “Probably still in the Slingshot…which has been sold…to a stranger.”  Oh, the horror!  We did a photo shoot with the little guys and they said their good-byes for another year.  I hope the Friedman Tom Kat still has a face by then.

And speaking of photo shoot, several of us couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be an ass on an ass!  I’m not sure if El Patio intended for the donkey in the courtyard to be sat upon, but you put something like that in front of a bunch of Krome Kitties (and a Tom Kat) and you’re just begging for us to climb on it.  Just ask Lindsborg about their Dala horses! 

After cleaning our plates, or to-going what we couldn’t eat, we settled up the tabs, hit the restroom one last time and made our way to the bikes where they were sitting in the much hotter sun than it was when we arrived.  We herded the Kitties and Tom Kats for a group picture and then reassembled into our groups again for the return trip home.

When I got on my bike and turned the ignition switch, all I got was a whole lot of nothing.  I did it again…and again…and again with the same result.  The assumption was I had a dead battery, but no worries – I’ve got tools and jumper cables and plenty of bikes to get me jumped.  I told everyone to go ahead and leave and Greg and I would ride back with David and his friend, Joe, who were in the meantime, helping Greg get my bike seat off and getting tools out.  As I was telling Christine what happened, she said, “You know it’s the strangest thing, when I went to turn my ignition switch, it had been flipped to the accessory setting, which I would never do.  Someone must have messed with it.”  Who would be brave enough to mess with a bike when it’s accompanied by two dozen other bikes and they don’t know that we’re not the Sons of Anarchy?  That’s just crazy!

Well, they were doubly crazy, because after Greg and Joe got everything disassembled from my bike, we realized the exact same thing had happened to my bike and I was using muscle memory to flip the ignition, which resulted in it being turned off rather than being turn on.  I take full responsibility for being a dunce, but who would do that?  Must have been a PO’d cager for us taking up most of the parking spots!  Anywhoo, by the time we got my bike put back together again, there was just the four of us remaining and we made our way back to Wichita and thankfully, I don’t have to buy a new battery!  But I am an idiot, so there is that.

So, there you have it!  Another fun, gorgeous day on the bikes with our husbands, boyfriends, friends and family on the annual Tom Kat ride.  Thank you to all those who made the day so memorable and enjoyable!   And thank you to the ride leaders, Greg and JT, and to the ride sweeps, Nellie, Al and Dorrin for getting us there safely and without one missed turn.

Oh, and what happened to Mr. and Mrs. MIA? Well, I reached out to her after we returned from the ride and she said she didn’t know where to go or what time. “Really? I emailed you with all the details and you even responded.” I said.  Pause. Pause. Pause.  “Oh yeah, I totally forgot you emailed me.  I went back to look and sure enough, there’s two emails from you.  I guess it had it all along.  I must have had a blonde moment.”  Well, congratulations on trumping my bike ignition blunder!

Those on board for the South of the Border Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg, Nellie and JT, Tresny and John, Christine and Dorrin with Zach, Linda and Jim, Kari and Daryl, Bobbie and Al, Sherrie and Cheryl, Kathryn, Kim, Chris, Annette, David and Joe.

Janice – KKMC Founder

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South of the Border – September 16, 2018

“P” may be for Ponca City, but for the September 16th Tom Kat ride, “P” was also for Perfect as we couldn’t have ordered up a more spectacular day for riding.  Clear skies, bright sunshine and not a breath of wind.  I would even go so far as to say that might have been the warmest Tom Kat ride we’ve ever had.  While most of us rode to the QuikTrip in Derby with jackets, they were quickly shed and we never saw them again.  Some of us packed our jackets in our saddle bags prior to leaving for the ride.  Not so with Nellie Taylor!  She took off her jacket and stowed it in between her bike and windshield…while riding to Ponca City!  That’s some skill right there!  That would have been a lost jacket if it were me.

When my Tom Kat, Greg, and I arrived at the QT at 8:30 on the dot, Kim Jones and Kathryn Langrehr were already there.  “How come you guys are here so early?” I asked.  Kim responded, “We had to stake out our No Tom Kat Zone.  Here’s the line (which she designated with her foot) and don’t you even think about crossing it if you got a man with you!” Duly noted Kim and Kathryn

Within minutes, beautiful bike after beautiful bike came pouring into the parking lot and just like Kim, we had our parking zone clearly designated…that is until a big ole rig pulled right smack dap in the middle of it.  Obviously, the driver doesn’t adhere to rules like the Kitties and Tom Kats do!  Fortunately, he didn’t stay long and we filled it up to guarantee that wouldn’t happen again. 

After making our greetings, getting beverages, breakfast burritos and donuts, I pulled out the flamed bag and starting pimping 50/50 tickets.  After witnessing my juggling struggle of tea, the bag, my phone, the tickets and money, Kathryn Langrehr said, “You are bound to drop something, so why don’t you let me sell the tickets?”  I was happy to turn that over to Kathryn, who quickly enlisted the help of Annette South, and I proceeded to snap picture after picture.  As I watched the time and took roll call, I noticed that a potential new member/guest rider and her Tom Kat, who I didn’t know and no one knew, weren’t there.  I checked every method for her to contact me and nope, not a word.  At this point, if she wasn’t on her way (in which case she wouldn’t see any messages from me), she wouldn’t make it on time.  I held a brief meeting to divide up the groups and announced that since the MIA rider was the reason we were stopping in Ark City for gas, we would no longer need to do that.  As we biked up to leave with Nellie Taylor’s Tom Kat, JT (who was caging it), in the lead of the first group and my Tom Kat, Greg, and I in the lead of the second group, I crossed my fingers that we weren’t leaving Mr. and Mrs. MIA behind. 

Greg and I quickly lost sight of the first group and we all settled in for a gorgeous ride in the Kansas countryside while George Michael, Neil Diamond, Air Supply and Whitney Houston pumped music into my ears.  Hey, don’t judge!  It’s my playlist and I make no apologies for my music taste, or lack thereof!   As we got closer and closer to the Oklahoma state line, I was watching my handlebar-mounted clock and I could see that by skipping the gas stop in Ark City, we were gong to be WAY early for our 11:30 reservation at the El Patio Mexican Grill and Cantina.  In fact, they might not even be open yet! That was an epic fail on the trip planner’s timeline which was, of course, developed by yours truly.  Had I thought of that sooner, we could have had a second beverage, a second breakfast burrito and several more donuts at the QuikTrip.  At my first opportunity, I told Greg the situation and he suggested we go ahead and get gas for the return trip.  Sounds like a plan to me!  Of course, I then stressed over the fact that the first group would be wondering and worried over what happened to us.  Now I’m stressed over Mr. and Mrs. MIA and what the other group might be thinking at the same time.  Fortunately, Freddy Mercury helped eased my anxiety.  Hey, I said no judging!

After a quick gas stop, we pulled into the El Patio parking lot where the first group was lounging on a bench and curbs and chatting with one another.  Not one person seemed to be worried about what happened to us.  Clearly, I way overthink things.  No sooner had we pulled in the parking lot, along came Sherri Carver and her friend, Cheryl Volk.  Is it confusing to have a friend with almost the exact same name?  Sherri and Cheryl had ridden in from Oklahoma City and although they were in the same state, they actually rode further than we did!  And this is why we call Sherri “Hard Core!”

I then went inside the restaurant and said, “I know we’re super early, but I wanted you to know that the Krome Kitties are here so when you’re ready, we’re ready.”  I gotta give mad props to the wait staff as they directed us to the el patio for al fresco dining (yes, I’m fully aware that I mixed two countries in the same sentence, but that’s how multi-cultural I am) and scrambled to get tables arranged in the shade for 23 people and menus in all of our hands.  And the scrambling didn’t end there.  They scurried about to keep chip baskets, salsa dishes and drinks full.  And amazingly, all 23 delicious meals came out at the same time!   This was even more remarkable when some of us went inside to use the restroom and saw the entire restaurant was packed!  This definitely deserves a five-star rating on Kelp, which is the Krome Kitty restaurant rating system.  That I just invented.  That we should start using.  Because it’s better than Yelp.

After digging out all the cash from the flamed bag, I turned it over to Bobbie Cole to count and there was 110 smackeroos in there!  That meant that some lucky Kitty or Tom Kat was going home with 55 of them!  I gave David Carruthers the honors of drawing the ticket.  Why David, you ask?  Well, even though his Kitty, Tricia, couldn’t attend the ride, David said he still wanted to go and he brought his friend Joe, too!  I figured any Tom Kat who attended the Tom Kat ride without being forced….uh, I mean, accompanied by a Kitty deserves some special recognition.  And apparently, he deserves being paid, too, because he drew his very own ticket!  David made me promise to not tell Tricia he won so I’m hoping by the time this is published, he has long spent the money and Tricia can’t confiscate it from him.  If not, well…my bad David!

And then it was time to reunite the pint-sized Tom Kats and I gotta say the Friedman Tom Kat is a little worse for wear compared to all the other still shiny, still got all their faces on, and still talking Tom Kats.  Thank you to Dorrin Allsman, Jim Moreland, and Al Brumbaugh for taking such good care of your Toms!  JT Taylor, shame on you!  When I asked where his Tom Kat was, he said, “I don’t know.  The last time I saw him, he was in a storage compartment in the Slingshot.”  I asked, “You have no idea where he could be?”  To which JT replied, “Probably still in the Slingshot…which has been sold…to a stranger.”  Oh, the horror!  We did a photo shoot with the little guys and they said their good-byes for another year.  I hope the Friedman Tom Kat still has a face by then.

And speaking of photo shoot, several of us couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be an ass on an ass!  I’m not sure if El Patio intended for the donkey in the courtyard to be sat upon, but you put something like that in front of a bunch of Krome Kitties (and a Tom Kat) and you’re just begging for us to climb on it.  Just ask Lindsborg about their Dala horses! 

After cleaning our plates, or to-going what we couldn’t eat, we settled up the tabs, hit the restroom one last time and made our way to the bikes where they were sitting in the much hotter sun than it was when we arrived.  We herded the Kitties and Tom Kats for a group picture and then reassembled into our groups again for the return trip home.

When I got on my bike and turned the ignition switch, all I got was a whole lot of nothing.  I did it again…and again…and again with the same result.  The assumption was I had a dead battery, but no worries – I’ve got tools and jumper cables and plenty of bikes to get me jumped.  I told everyone to go ahead and leave and Greg and I would ride back with David Carruthers and his friend, Joe, who were in the meantime, helping Greg get my bike seat off and getting tools out.  As I was telling Christine Allsman what happened, she said, “You know it’s the strangest thing, when I went to turn my ignition switch, it had been flipped to the accessory setting, which I would never do.  Someone must have messed with it.”  Who would be brave enough to mess with a bike when it’s accompanied by two dozen other bikes and they don’t know that we’re not the Sons of Anarchy?  That’s just crazy!

Well, they were doubly crazy, because after Greg and Joe got everything disassembled from my bike, we realized the exact same thing had happened to my bike and I was using muscle memory to flip the ignition, which resulted in it being turned off rather than being turn on.  I take full responsibility for being a dunce, but who would do that?  Must have been a PO’d cager for us taking up most of the parking spots!  Anywhoo, by the time we got my bike put back together again, there was just the four of us remaining and we made our way back to Wichita and thankfully, I don’t have to buy a new battery!  But I am an idiot, so there is that.

So, there you have it!  Another fun, gorgeous day on the bikes with our husbands, boyfriends, friends and family on the annual Tom Kat ride.  Thank you to all those who made the day so memorable and enjoyable!   And thank you to the ride leaders, Greg and JT, and to the ride sweeps, Nellie Taylor, Al and Dorrin for getting us there safely and without one missed turn.

Oh, and what happened to Mr. and Mrs. MIA? Well, I reached out to her after we returned from the ride and she said she didn’t know where to go or what time. “Really? I emailed you with all the details and you even responded.” I said.  Pause. Pause. Pause.  “Oh yeah, I totally forgot you emailed me.  I went back to look and sure enough, there’s two emails from you.  I guess it had it all along.  I must have had a blonde moment.”  Well, congratulations on trumping my bike ignition blunder!

Those on board for the South of the Border Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg Friedman, Nellie and JT Taylor, Tresny and John Janzen, Christine and Dorrin Allsman with Zach Herman, Linda and Jim Moreland, Kari and Daryl Miller, Bobbie Cole and Al Brumbaugh, Sherri Carver and Cheryl Volk, Kathryn Langrehr, Kim Jones, Chris Emond, Annette South, David Carruthers and Joe Erdman.

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October Road Trip – Winfield, KS

 

Due to the cold weather predicted for October 14th, we will be caravanning to Winfield.  Plan to come in your car and we’ll pair you with a driver.  The meet time and location remains the same.

 

Last ride of the season Kitties!

Meeting location: The QuikTrip on Rock Rd. in DERBY. 2801 N. Rock Rd in DERBY. Seems like this QT is becoming our go-to spot.

Meeting time: 10:00 with kickstands up at 10:30.

Distance from Derby: 31 miles

Lunch: Shindigs Bar and Grill. You can see their menu by clicking the link below.

What you need to bring: 50/50 cash for the drawing (6 tickets for $5.00.)

What I will bring: Sherri Carver, I will bring your name badge ($10.00) and Annette South, I will bring your Kitty Kap ($15.00.) I will also bring the normal patches, pins and a selection of bandanas. For those who gave me shirts to be Kittified, I will bring those if they are done.

I’m looking for a Lead Kitty and Sweep Kitty, so let me know if you are up for the J.O.B!

Please RSVP by Thursday, October 11th.

 

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September Road Trip – Tom Kat Ride – Ponca City, OK

It’s time for the annual Tom Kat ride! This is the one time during the season you are welcome to invite your significant other, spouse, friends and family to join you on a Kitty ride. When you RSVP, please indicate how many people you will be bringing and their names.

You probably noticed that we changed the destination for this ride. After discussing the great distance (170 miles), Kathryn Langrehr and I decided that that might be a little over ambitious to take a large group that far. Plus, we didn’t want to exclude anyone who wasn’t up for a 3.5 hour ride one way. So Ponca City, here we come!

Here are the details:

Meeting location: the QT on Rock Rd in Derby. 2801 N. Rock Rd in DERBY. This is the same QT we met at for the August ride if you attended that.

Meeting time: 8:30 am with kickstands up at 9:15 am.

Lunch: The El Patio Mexican Restaurant

Distance: 86 miles one way.

5 day forecast: sunny with a high of 84. 11 mph wind. Sounds fantastic!

Gas stop: we will have a guest rider with us who rides a Sportster. She will need to stop for gas before getting to Ponca City, so we will make a very quick stop in Ark City.

Rain Plan: if it’s raining in Ponca City that day, we will stay closer to home and will eat lunch at the Benton Airport. If it’s nice here, then we’ll ride to Benton. If it’s also raining here, we’ll cage it there.

Sightseeing option: the Marland Mansion is an option if enough of you are interested. It takes about two hours to go through it. If you aren’t interested in doing that, we could make a stop at Henry’s Candy Factory in Dexter on the way home. Please let me know which you prefer to do.

You know the drill, it’s Tom Kat month so you gotta bring your little Tom Kats that were gifted to the Toms a couple of years ago. Let’s see who can still find theirs!

What you need to bring (other than your plastic Tom Kat): cash for the 50/50 drawing (6 tickets for $5.00) and any shirts you want to have Kittified. We will be doing our last run of the season at the end of September.

What I will bring: the usual selection of patches, pins and a small amount of Kitty bandanas. Let me know if you would like anything else.

RSVPS due on Monday, September 10th. Please, pretty please respond by clicking Going on this post by that date so I can let the restaurant know how many of us to expect.

If your husband or boyfriend doesn’t ride, they are welcome to drive their car and join us for a fun day! If you don’t have one of the above, please don’t stay home because of that. There will be others who will be Tom Katless so you will not be alone.

Looking forward to another great Tom Kat Ride!

 

 

 

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September MEOW Mixer

We had originally planned to go to Le Monde Cafe for the September Meow Mixer, but it’s pretty tight seating there, so the Meow Mixer organizers selected a different, but equally as Mediterranean, location.

Plan to meet at Cafe Maurice at 6:00 pm. This is a rain or shine event. If it’s raining or too hot or you’re coming from work, cage it!

There isn’t a menu available online, but from looking at the pictures, it looks YUMMY!

Hope to see lots of Kitties there!

 

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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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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 Langrehr 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, who’s 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 Gibbs 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 Morse had called in reservations, so they had our table all ready for us when we arrived. As we were perusing the menu, Maureen Stout asked, “Does anyone what to share a steak with me?” Lori Gibbs 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 Phares 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 Stout 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 Langrehr 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 Gibbs 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 Stout 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 Langrehr, 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 Friedman 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 Langrehr 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 Friedman

On Saturday, July 21st, after we toured the Frank Phillips home, seven of us headed east out of town and Janice Friedman 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 Gibbs came speeding up to catch Kathryn Langrehr, our road captain, and asked her to stop. Maureen Stout’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 Langrehr 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 Stout’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 Friedman.

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 Allsman 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 Gibbs 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 Morse 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 Allsman and Melaina Phares 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 Langrehr was stopping in Tulsa to see a grade school friend. The Samurai Six were: Dawn Morse, Christine Allsman, Lori Gibbs, Maureen Stout, Melaina Phares, 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 Allsman pulled up to Dawn Morse 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 Morse 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 Phares 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 Stouts’ 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 Stout 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 Gibbs, AliKat, da Vinci, Wrench, Glitter, and Lady.