With fingers resting on the keyboard, I struggled to find a way to start the article on the 15h Anniversary trip to Pueblo, CO. What could I say that hasn’t already been said on Facebook by so many? How can I report on what everyone did when I wasn’t with them? In the end, I decided the best approach was to do a travel log with the help of contributing authors to give you my perspective, as well as the perspective of a few other Kitties. Who knows, you might decide you like hearing from others more than me and this will become a new thing. A great big HUGE thank you to my co-authors Krista Cotterill, Tanya Horn and Kari Miller! I know the amount of time it takes to write down your thoughts, so thank you for doing that for us. WARNING: This is a looonnng article. You might want to read it in stages…with a glass of wine…over several days. So, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Friday, August 30th
From Janice Friedman: In the days leading up to the departure, the chances of rain waffled back and forth from 40% to 60%. Each day, I yo-yoed from celebrating the 40% and feeling deflated when it changed to 60%. When I woke up that Friday morning, I was thrilled that it was dry – very cloudy and unseasonably cool, but dry. Just as we were gathering at the QuikTrip for the pre-ride briefing and consulting Ms. Weather App, our luck ran out and it started to drizzle, which forced us to put on rain suits and hold our meeting under the gas pump awning. With everyone present and accounted for, 17 Kitties pulled out with me in the lead and Lori Gibbs in the sweep position; the 18th Kitty, Kathryn Langrehr, would be met in Greensburg where the group would be split in two and Kathryn would take over leading the second group and Suz Tiede would take over sweeping the first group.
We continued to ride in drizzle and I remember thinking “this isn’t so bad.” When we were looking at Ms. Weather App, we saw that there were two yellow and red blobs in the area in which we were going. Maybe we’ll get lucky and thread the needle right between them, was everyone’s thought. Somewhere around Kingman, all our hopes and wishes were completely shattered. It was like riding right into a waterfall with drizzle one second and hard, pounding rain the next. Throw in a couple of crackles of lightening and booms of thunder and we found ourselves in an honest to goodness, full-blown thunderstorm! Everything inside of me was screaming Pull Over! Pull Over! But the logical side of me was screaming just as loudly, No, Keep Going! It’ll be worse if you stop! The thought of 17 motorcycles pulled over on the side of the road in a situation where visibility was somewhere between 0% and -0% seemed like a very bad idea. So, I flipped on my flashers so the Kitties behind me could see and prayed that I stayed on the straight and narrow because I knew if I drove off the road, 17 Kitties would follow right behind me. I can’t even tell you how long we rode in that rain; it seemed long enough that we would soon see (IF we could see!) the Welcome to Colorado sign. At long last, I could see the light. Literally! Way up yonder, I could see the edge of the storm and like a cat to catnip, I honed in on it and brought the drenched, cold Kitties back into daylight. This was the first time some of the Kitties had ridden in rain and I gotta give them mad props for not just riding in rain, but riding in a big yellow and red blob! They persevered and now they have bonafide rain riding experience! Welcome to my Wet World!
As promised, Kathryn Langrehr was waiting for us at the gas station in Greensburg and although she came from a different direction, she got just as wet as us, but she was doing it all alone! We quickly gassed up and de-rain suited and were back on the road. The sun was out in full force by now, but the temperatures stayed on the cool side, which made for perfect riding weather. We made a quick gas stop in Garden City and then 25 miles later, we stopped for lunch at the Flashback Café in Lakin.
At lunch, a couple of Kitties expressed interest in stopping at the border to get a picture of the group by the big brown and white Welcome to Colorado sign. I promised if it seemed safe to do that, we would make a pit stop for the photo op. With a nice wide shoulder, I pulled over and gave the signal for single file and we all trudged down the embankment to gather around the sign. Wait, we’re missing someone. Actually, we’re missing two someones! Lori Gibbs and Jan Brock were MIA Kitties. It was reported that Jan noticed a lot of noise coming from her BRAND-NEW bike and they had pulled over to see if they could mechanic their way to it, which they were unable to do. We spent the time we were waiting on them by taking lots of selfies and pretty soon, we could see the lights of two bikes heading our direction. I waved them over and they quickly hopped off their bikes; Suz Tiede whipped out her selfie stick; we snapped a picture and scurried back to our bikes.
When we got to our last gas stop in Lamar, CO, Jan’s bike was not any quieter and she said she had contacted the Harley Davidson dealership in Pueblo and she was going to take it directly there when we arrived in town.
Turns out that was a wise decision because it saved Jan from the chaos that met us at the hotel. Because of a missed turn I made in Pueblo, the second group arrived before the first and as I was parking my bike, Stephanie Rodriguez came out and said, “It’s a cluster f*** in there. They don’t have rooms for lots of the girls.” I grabbed my green folder with all the paperwork and went in to see what the problem was. I had confirmed and reconfirmed the rooms about a dozen times, so I knew everyone had a room. I felt confident that this could be resolved and it was, but not easily or quickly or quietly.
I have to stop here and say well done! Well-done to 18 lady bikers who rode through torrential rain, 440 miles, three gas stops and a lunch break and we made it to Pueblo BEFORE dinnertime! I think Maureen Stout said it best when she commented, “We got to Pueblo three hours sooner than Mena, Arkansas and that was 70 miles closer! This calls for a celebration and what better way to celebrate than with liquor?!” (Maureen didn’t say that, but I know she was thinking it!) So, after getting checked in and settled in, we all met at the hotel bar for a cocktail. Lori Gibbs took the celebration one step further and announced she had gifts! Gifts?! We love gifts! She whipped out Kitty Swag Bags that she had whipped up with the help of a sewing machine and Dawn Morse’s zipper installation tutorial. They were all sugar skull patterned and were full of helpful goodies, such as a buff to protect our faces from the heat and cold, bug gut cleaner and a micro cloth, leather conditioner (that Lori cautioned was NOT lip balm!), a deodorant wipe (that’s gonna come in handy!), an aloe face mask (for treating those windburn faces), and a cute postcard to mail to a Kitty Sister just cuz it’ll be fun. THANK YOU, Lori, for all the time and effort you put into these adorable Swag Bags! It was such a sweet surprise but I’m still trying to figure out how you got all that stuff in your saddle bags!
After throwing back our two-for-one cocktails and being introduced to pickle shots (where have THESE been all my life!), everyone with the exception of Kari Miller, who decided to stay at the hotel and have a quiet dinner for one, walked the short distance to Black-Eyed Peas for dinner. Most of the dinner conversation centered around figuring out who was going where the next day from all the options that Lori Gibbs had researched and sent out (with great assistance from Julie Vance.) Suz Tiede and I knew we weren’t going to be riding on Saturday as we needed to work on and set up for the banquet, so we just sat back and enjoyed our dinner without having to make one single plan. There was another Kitty who wasn’t going to be riding on Saturday because her bike had just been delivered to the Harley Davidson dealership and that was Jan Brock. I had offered my bike to her, but she had declined and said as much as she appreciated it, she didn’t feel comfortable taking someone else’s bike. Well, as more and more plans started to develop for Saturday, the temptation of riding in the beautiful world of Colorado became too strong to resist and she accepted my offer. I reminded her it was just a bike and bikes can be replaced. As a matter of fact, if you just so happened to be riding near a cliff and you just so happened to jump off and let the bike go over said cliff, that means a new bike for me, so don’t take any heroic measures in saving it. She promised she would see what she could do to make that happen.
After dinner, some of the Kitties returned to the bar for a nightcap, but this Kitty was pooped and said goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite and retired to my room.
From Krista Cotterill: I don’t know if anyone was more in need of this little get away than me. Seriously, this Kitty was mentally and physically and emotionally, and even spiritually, at the bottom of the bucket. Nothing left. But I had Pueblo with my girls to look forward to so I continued to do my thing until the KKMC travel day. Packing for this was easier than packing for Topeka. I don’t even know why. Maybe because I wasn’t recovering from pneumonia? Anyway, I threw everything in waterproof bags and tossed them in/on my bike, strapped it all down and I was on my way.
On Friday, I was extra thankful that Janice Friedman has a tendency to lead us to water because it meant I had ﬁnally broken down and purchased rain gear! I got to use it for the ﬁrst time and it got a B- but that is for another post. God brought the rain, and more rain, and some awesome lightning and thunder to go with it. That ﬁrst leg was wet, but once again, I proved to not be made of sugar and spice and everything nice, so I didn’t melt. Ha! The second leg was memorable for another reason, the smell. Ugh. Never have I ever had to put up with so much bull*h! t. Seriously, it was bad, and that is saying a lot seeing as how I have two teenage boys, a hard-working man, and 18 animals under my roof. The rest of the trip was enjoyable because of the rolling plains of western Kansas and the smells were a lot better. My bottom was screaming at me for the last hour or so and arriving at the hotel was bliss. Little did I know…. A few of us did a quick trip to the local HD dealership and I forked over the bucks for an air “pillow” for my butt and it was worth every stinking penny. I can rate that little purchase later, but I give it an A-. Side note: this is the ﬁrst HD dealership that I have visited that DIDN’T have a military discount. I don’t even know what I ate that night, I’m pretty sure there was a beer, or two, involved and a pissed off waitress (the Kitties may have cut in line for a table), but I didn’t starve and I slept through most of the parking lot hullabaloo, so there’s that.
From Tanya Horn: Funday!! At 7AM we met up at an elevation of 1302 ft at the QT. Our ride began with a bit of showers, then more showers, but no one melted and we all survived. I always enjoy adding to my riding resume with the opportunity to better my abilities while behind the bars. I’ve never really owned rain gear and still don’t see the point, as I can air dry! Our day consisted of approximately 440 miles to the soon-to-be-updated (important to note!) Clarion Inn in Pueblo, CO – elevation 4692 ft. Overall, it was a good ride through western Kansas to colorful Colorado.
From Kari Miller: Yes, I am going! No, wait, due to personal reasons I can’t go. No wait, can I still join? Sorry for being a PIA Janice, but I did not want to miss this trip! Since I wasn’t originally going, I did not spend a lot of time worrying about what to pack until the last minute. Rain suit was numero uno on my list, since we were traveling with Janice. As for clothing, layer, layer, layer. Also having a mandatory clothing list was helpful. I left the house in rain gear and prayed for the best. I met up with the Augusta girls and we zoomed to the meet up spot. Upon arriving at the QT, there was a flurry of Kitty activity and everyone was pumped and ready to go.
The ride out was good, long and uneventful except for being rained on for a while; fearing for our lives that we would be struck by lightning and then there was the damn tornado siren that went off in Deerfield, KS. Who knew that blowing the whistle at noon is custom in small town Kansas? Anyway, our lunch stop in Lakin was good and quick and we were back on the road in no time. The hotel didn’t know what hit them when the Kitties arrived. It was Kitty Kaos for sure. My roomie and I finally got a room and went and got settled in. She had good snacks which was a bonus. Thanks Kim Jones!
Saturday, August 31st
From Janice Friedman: A remarkable thing happened on Saturday morning. I was awake at 7:00 a.m. without an alarm to tell me to do so. That meant I was wide awake when I got a phone call from Lily Nordyke bright and early. “Did you hear about the fight last night?” she asked. My first thought was panic and I asked, “Between the Kitties??” all the while wondering just what the heck happened in the bar after I went to my room. “No, you silly Kitty. In the parking lot in the middle of the night.” I had heard lots of voices in the wee hours of the morning and remembered thinking Go To Bed People! Well, apparently, they were not happy voices, but “put your dukes up” voices and there had been a fight involving several guys and more than one beer bottle…which had been shattered…over Lily’s bike. I threw on some clothes to go check it out and there were teeny tiny pieces of glass ev-er-y-where on her bike; a tiny chip in the paint of her gas tank and plenty of sticky beer covering the entire bike, some of which had crossed over onto Sonja McCall’s bike. The police were called, reports were made and promises were given to look into it. Our concern was that the glass which was laying on the fins of her engine would make their way INTO the engine so I made a quick call to my husband, Greg, to ask how worried should we be. HIS concern was why in the world was I calling him so early in the morning and after hearing the story, he assured us that there was zero chance that would happen. After lots of pictures were taken and concerns eliminated, Lily and Sonja scooted on over to the car wash and gave their babies a good power wash, which officially made their bikes the cleanest of them all. The hotel gave Lily and Sonja their most sincere apologies and backed that up with a free weekend – no room cost, no food cost, no alcohol cost. Made me kinda wish someone would come back that night and christen MY bike with beer!
After all the excitement of the fight/glass/cops/beer subsided, I returned to my room to brush my teeth and make myself somewhat more presentable and was interrupted by another phone call. It was Suz Tiede and she wanted to know how to get into my saddle bags. I had previously given my bike key to Jan Brock and showed her everything she needed to know about unlocking and locking the bike, so I was confused as to why they couldn’t get into my latch-only saddle bags. Oh well, if they need help being shown how to unlatch a quick release buckle, I was happy to show them. When I got to the bike, Jan and Suz were having a big ole belly laugh. Turns out they were trying to get into Nellie Taylor’s bags, which did indeed have a lock on them. I guess Nellie and I need to paint a big “N” and “J” on our bikes so people can tell them apart!
Kitties were starting to mount up and heading off in all directions, so I snapped a few pictures of the groups leaving and then once again returned to my room to work on some pre-banquet tasks. Later in the morning, Suz Tiede and I took a break from the prep work and Uber’d our way to the Harley Davidson dealership and a darling gift shop to see if we could leave some Kansas cash with them. After hooking up with Nellie Taylor, who opted out of riding that day as she wasn’t feeling up to snuff, we walked to get some lunch and then returned to the hotel where Suz and I began to work in earnest on the banquet.
The Banquet. So much has been written about it and pictures posted on Facebook that I won’t go into great detail as it will be a wash, rinse and repeat of what you’ve already seen. Suz Tiede and I worked on that event for quite some time and it was every bit as fun as we hoped it would be. I threw my phone at Christine Allsman and said “you’re in charge of taking pictures” (thank you!) and then opened the banquet with a speech about what the Krome Kitties mean to me and how we used to look in the old days; Lori Gibbs gave a tear-jerking speech about her early years, the in-between years and her return to the Club; Nellie Taylor gave an equally emotional speech about what the Kitties mean to her (next to her husband, JT, the Kitties are the most important people in her life. Now that’s an endorsement!); Suz Tiede talked about what led her to seek out and find the Kitties; and we ended with a hilarious story that Kristi Evans and I gave about her almost first ride with the Kitties, with a promise that her f***ing dingbat days are well behind her.
And then there were the gifts. Again, I can’t thank you all enough for the fabulous Miss Krome Kitty doll and one-of-a-kind leather plaque with the 15th Anniversary logo and all of your names on it, which is a wonderful snapshot in time. Both of these items will be forever treasured. Lori Gibbs gave me a super cool belt with a custom-made KKMC buckle and that will be part of my Krome Kitty uniform from this day forward.
After dinner, there was lots of shenanigans at the photo prop corner where Kitties could be anything they wanted to be with the props that had been previously shipped in. We then played a loud and rowdy version of Family Feud, called Kitty Feud, where the Kitties’ memories for trivia was challenged. There were two teams – the Road Warriors and the Asphalt Angels, renamed the Asphalt Asses. In the end, the Asphalt Asses (with a larger population of seasoned members) were victorious and they each received a cat sugar skull patch as their prize.
Prior to the banquet, Lily Nordyke sold the 50/50 tickets in the bar where everyone waited for the banquet to begin at 6:30. After the Kitty Feud game, I gave Kristi Evans the honor of drawing the ticket since coming on this trip was a HUGE accomplishment for her with it being her longest distance and the first time to ride in rain. She drew the ticket and all you heard were the rustling of Kitties inspecting each ticket to see if it was theirs. No “That’s Me!” or “I Got It!” emerged. Hmm, maybe I should check my tickets which I hadn’t even bothered to pull out. Sure enough, the winning ticket was in my hot little hands! So, I just got presented with the most amazing gifts AND I won the $50.00 pot! Can this day get any better?? I think not
Before concluding the festivities, there was one piece of business to address. Someone in the room was going to be turning 50 in three days. Now who could that be? I’ll give you three hints: 1. I’ve known her longer than any other Kitty in the Club. 2. She’s had four children and yet looks like she’s had none (can we just take a moment to hate her a little for that?) And 3. She took a long hiatus, but she’s back…for good! If you guessed Lori Gibbs you are correctamundo! In honor of this milestone birthday, I presented her with a crown and sash and not just any crown and sash. The crown lit up like a Christmas tree and the sash said “Old as Shit.” Pretty rich coming from a person who is nearly 13 years older than her, don’t you think?
We gathered together for a couple of group photos, one of which was labeled “Incognito Kitties” as all our faces were covered with the big, bright white and black Kitty faces that Lori Gibbs had printed….and cut out….by hand….all by herself. That was brilliant Lori!
All that was left was the clean-up and with all hands-on-deck, we returned the room to the hotel lickety split!
Rumor had it that there was going to be a drag show in the bar on Saturday night, which was substantiated by the spotting of several drag queens in the hotel hallways. The night was still young so let’s go check out the Queens! A handful of Kitties gathered in the bar and because the show started way later than promised, we only stayed for a short while, but long enough for a queen to spot Lori Gibb’s sash and crown and pull her up for a Happy Birthday shot and another queen to do a little dancing with Lily Nordyke. Sugar’s got some moves! However, her moves are so swift that every picture I took to prove it came out blurry so you’ll just have to take my word for it…or get her out on the dance floor to see for yourself! It had been a long, full and wonderful day and we were pooped! We had another full day of riding the next day so we said our good-nights and found our respective beds to crash in.
From Krista Cotterill: Saturday promised to be gorgeous. I wanted to RIDE! After a quick bite to eat at the hotel, with a questionable table partner (I seem to attract the weirdo’s), I saddled up with two sweet Kitties, Maureen Stout and Tanya Horn and we rode south to catch the Highway of Legends. Not going to lie, I don’t even know why it’s called that. But it was beautiful! I led and my GPS dumped us off at the first waypoint and we sort of figured it out from there. Our only deadline was the banquet, and some clean-up time, too, so we just rode. There were so many little twists and turns and ups and downs and some all-the-way arounds. I’m prone to look around a lot because the beauty of nature just takes my breath away. Not always such a good thing on unfamiliar roads with trees, meadows, mountains, surprise lakes, and chipmunks, and, well you get it. But it was an amazing ride. We lunched in Cuchara at a sweet little spot. The weather was pretty perfect. We had clouds, we had sun, we had a little rain, we didn’t really have much wind except what we created for ourselves. I was a pretty happy girl. We made it home in time to doll up a little for the anniversary banquet.
I have so many words of gratitude for Janice Friedman and Lori Gibbs who got that wild hair 15ish years ago. If you wouldn’t have had that little dream of having an all-girl riding group, where would we be today? The friendships I have found among THIS group of women is nothing short of spectacular. Hanging out with a group of all women used to make me squeamish, and that’s an entirely different conversation, but the Kitties are unique and I am so very grateful and humbled that I get to be a part of it. The banquet was superb, thank you ladies (Janice Friedman, Suz Tiede, Lori Gibbs, and whoever else I’m forgetting!) for putting it all together! I was exhausted, all those emotions, and all that riding, caught up with me and I went straight to bed and missed all the shenanigans in the bar. Missed might be the wrong word here. HeHe
From Tanya Horn: On Saturdaywe had a little trio crew decide to ride a loop of 300 miles, following our fearless leader Krista Cotterill! We three Kitties of myself, Maureen Stout and Krista flew down I-25 South as the sun was burning off the morning fog over the foothills. We rounded a few corners in Trinidad and made our way past Boyd Mountain along State Highway 12 (aka the Highway of Legends.) The Tarahumare Indians believed the Spanish Peaks to be sacred and the place where all life emerged on Earth. These parts were even said to be traveled by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. We enjoyed the views through the Rocky Mountains in southern Colorado, arriving at the charming village of Cuchara. It was a gorgeous ride in with a little rain. We enjoyed our lunch at an elevation of 8468 feet in the Dog Bar and Grill and then headed north to our home site. Little did we know, the rain Gods were waiting for us with a present. It is up for debate whether they threw some hail at us for fun!
We arrived back at the hotel in plenty of time to get all dolled up (in biker fashion) for the 15th Anniversary Krome Kitty Celebration! Fun was had by all!! With amazing food, presents for all, speeches to make a Kitty kry and pictures with our pals to remember the evening by. Oh, and cake!! Can’t forget the Kitty cake!! Janice Friedman and the party planning Kitties outdid themselves.
From Kari Miller: Had a short night sleep due to some exciting events in the parking lot outside of our room, but that was just part of our story. We got up and got ready to roll again to see some beautiful scenery. Everyone gathered for breakfast at different times and then we split up and went about our day in different groups. The group I rode with went to Bishops Castle where it was a beautiful ride and Kathryn Langrehr did a great job of getting us there and back safely without getting lost. The smells were much better here than in western Kansas. We eventually ended up at an excellent little restaurant in some town somewhere in Colorado. When we were ready to leave, it started raining again. We waited it out for a few minutes but had to hit the road. The rain did not last long, and the ride home was just as beautiful as the ride there. When we got back to the hotel, a few of us went to do some retail therapy at a local “Specialty Shop” and that was a fun experience. Too bad they don’t give out samples like COSTCO. We got back to our room and prepared for our long-awaited banquet. Pre-cocktail hour in our room followed by cocktail hour in the bar and then onto the festivities. It was all great fun and I was so glad that I was able to be a part of this. Thank you to everyone who was involved in putting this together.
Sunday, September 1st
From Janice Friedman: Sunday morning there was a flurry of activity of deciding who was going where and with whom and who was going to lead. I joined a small group who were going to ride the Highway of Legends, which is a state highway through the Rocky Mountains. By 9:00 am everyone was geared up, biked up and rolling out to see what Colorado could wow them with. My group included Suz Tiede, Christine Allsman, Nellie Taylor, Kathryn Langrehr, Lori Gibbs and Stephanie Rodriguez with Kari Miller in the lead. When we pulled over in Trinidad, CO for a potty break, Suz and I had the following conversation:
Suz: “You know where I’ve never ridden to?”
Suz: “New Mexico.”
Suz: “You know where we’re only 20 miles from?”
Suz: “Ohhh Kari! Can we go to New Mexico?”
Turns out Suz was right. We were only 21 miles from Ratan, New Mexico so Ratan, here we come! This provided us with an opportunity to fill our tanks and run into a nice young man named Tony from Illinois who was just trying to gas up his bike. Big mistake Tony. Should have gotten gas down the street. We pounced on him like kitties on mice and said, “Wouldn’t you just love to have your picture taken with us? We’re kinda of a big deal and you’re gonna want to show this to your friends.” With just enough of a hesitation to let you know that he was trying to figure out how to get his way out of this sticky situation, he finally agreed to be surrounded by a pack of Kitties and have a picture taken. There may have been some rubber left near the gas pumps when he left. After documenting that we did indeed go to Ratan, Wyoming, we backtracked to get on Highway 12, otherwise known as the Highway of Legends. The ride was spectacularly beautiful and the leadership of Kari Miller was superb. We lunched at great little spot called the Dog Bar and Grill (proving that cats and dogs CAN get along) in the small town of Cuchara. We arrived in Cuchara in brilliant sunshine, but by the time we left, it was gloomy and raining. We waited it out for the worst to pass and spent that time putting on rain suits. Rain or no rain, we had a long way to get home and it was getting late, so we had to crawl on wet bikes and go. I gotta say one thing….rain in Colorado is NOT like rain in Kansas! You can be wet and warm in Kansas; you will be wet and COLD in Colorado!
We rode in and out of drizzle and through some breathtaking scenery on the way home. In a town on the way, we got stopped by a train and feeling like we had left all the rain behind us, we took this opportunity to de-rain suit. This provided some mighty fine entertainment for all the cars that were stopped along with us. You’re welcome! As we neared Pueblo, there were those dark rain clouds again and we just BARELY made it to the hotel before the skies opened up. The activities of the weekend caught up with me so I had a quick quesadilla dinner in the hotel bar with Lori Gibbs and Suz Tiede and called it a day. We had a long ride ahead of us starting at 7:30 in the morning so time to pack up and hit the hay!
Sunday status report on Jan Brock: After being told on Saturday afternoon that her bike was fixed, only to get to the Harley Davidson dealership to find out it wasn’t and furthermore, it wasn’t going back to Wichita by its own volition anytime soon, Jan spent the day Sunday securing a rental car and having several conversations with the service manager at HD in her stern voice. Sucks to be you Service Manager!
From Krista Cotterill: Sunday bloomed bright and beautiful and I needed coffee. I’m sort of an addict. So, it being only a short walk to Starbucks, Tanya Horn and I headed up the road and ﬁlled up our bellies with caffeinated goodness. My brain was much happier. I’m not a very nice person without coffee, so you’re welcome! Back at the hotel, ride plans were being tossed around. Again, I just wanted to RIDE. I didn’t need a destination, just fun roads to travel. So, six Kitties headed out to ride around Pike’s Peak. Sort of. We passed by so many fun tourist spots along the route, the Royal Gorge, Manitou Springs, the Garden of the Gods, a dinosaur resource center, wait, what resources do they need? Lots probably, but we’re saving all of those for next time, right ladies? After the Colorado Springs trafﬁc (I did get to do a “sic em bears” with a guy with a “Baylor Dad” bumper sticker who was kind enough to scoot over so we could join our formation), we ﬂew back to the hotel. Cocktails were in order so after a quick stop off at a liquor store and Starbucks (for juice!), Tanya and I made up a yummy Kitty Koncoction and determined that we deﬁnitely didn’t buy enough ingredients. For dinner we again pissed off a waitress, or hostess, or someone who worked at the restaurant, but got to eat some yummy steak/burger/pork and someone got chocolate cake, and then we all headed back to tuck our tired little heads into bed.
From Tanya Horn: Sundaywe regrouped the trio of myself, Maureen Stout and Krista Cotterill and added another trio of Lily Nordyke, Sonja McCall and Justine Busher to ride a loop to the north that was about 200 miles. The group allowed me to lead, so we rode west through Cañon City, CO, waving at the Royal Gorge as we passed by. Enjoying Cactus Mountain, Big Baldy and Booger Red Hill to name a few of the beauties of Colorado that we cruised by. I sure enjoyed the open road, little traffic and the opportunity to hit the mountain roads wide open!
We took a rest at Evergreen Station in Florissant, CO for a pitstop, gas and photo opportunities (even though it was only eight miles from Cripple Creek) We enjoyed the stunning beauty of Red Mountain and Mt. Pisgah on the way into Cripple Creek. As we rode into town down Main St., the majestic views were indescribable!! This quaint town of an elevation of 9494 feet, is a former gold mining camp located 44 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, near the base of Pikes Peak. It completely takes you back to the wild west in one turn down Bennett Avenue. We lunched at McGill’s Pint & Platter and kept our gambling and drinking at bay. Queenie would be proud of us! Upon leaving, we passed the town’s gold mine, Cow Mountain, Sheep Mountain and Raspberry Mountain, all of whom lay at the foothill of Pikes Peak & Mt. Manitou. We, again, waved at the sites of Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods, The Broadmoor, and Seven Falls, all touristy attractions we had no time for, because we were busy being biker babes, riding through the scenic mountains and soaking up the goodness in cruise mode!!
After we clutched our way through the hot Colorado Springs traffic, we headed south to our home-base in Pueblo. We passed by two of my favorites in CO: the quaint town of Fountain and Pikes Peak International SPEEDway – I have had some fun times there!!
Most of the Kitties in our group went back to the hotel, but Krista and I needed refreshments, so we hit up the adult beverage store and Starbucks to make us a Kitty Koncoction for the evening. After our self-made hotel happy hour, we dined with a few other Kitties at a nearby steakhouse and called it a night as we had a long ride home in the morning.
From Kari Miller: Same as the day before, gather for breakfast and everyone decides what they are going to do. My group was riding the Highway of Legends with a side trip to New Mexico with lunch at The Dog Bar and Grill in Cuchara, CO. It was a beautiful ride, and the only bad thing about riding in the mountains is that sometimes you must stop and/or park on hills and that is not fun for a Kansas girl with a new bike she is not used to. Oh, add some more rain to that mixture. Yep, we are three for three now on the rain. Anyway, the ride and the friendship were both amazing. Oh, my favorite part of the day was when I was leading the group in the mountains and could ride the curves as fast as I wanted and not run anyone over! Back at the hotel to rest and pack up for the trip home tomorrow.
Monday, September 2nd
From Janice Friedman: One of the things I did before drifting off to sleep the night before was to pre-organize everyone into two groups. We had a 7:30 departure time and that saved some precious minutes on Monday morning. With everyone present and accounted for right on time, we headed off with me in the lead of one group with Suz Tiede sweeping and Kathryn Langrehr in the lead of the second group with Jan Brock sweeping in her mini-van (which was so helpful to have to get my leather plaque and the box of photo props back without having to mail them. Thank you Uber Jan!)
At the first gas stop in Lamar, CO, the second group was arriving as we were finishing up filling tanks and emptying bladders. Kathryn Langrehr reported to me that Lori Gibbs had lost her gas cap and her and Jan had gone back to get it. To this day, I haven’t gotten the full story on how she lost it or where, but that’ll be a great story around a lunch table sometime. Kathryn asked if she should wait on them and I said since Jan was with her in a car, Lori was safe so you gotta keep going. Hopefully, they will catch up at our lunch stop in Garden City.
Sure enough, as we were all settled in and eating a Subway sandwich, here comes Lori walking in. One has to wonder just how fast she was riding to catch up with us, but we’re going to abide by the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy on that one.
After an unexpected tour of a windmill farm due to a turn I shouldn’t have taken in Dodge City, we made it to our last gas stop in Greensburg, KS. We thought the second group might catch up with us due to the windmill tour, but we never saw them. We said our good-byes and biked up for the last 100 mile run for home.
Taking 18 Kitties on an 880-mile round trip (plus hundreds of miles in between) was a gamble. So many things could have gone wrong. The weather could have been insufferably hot, but it wasn’t (well, it might have been a little hot on the ride home, but it could have been much worse!) We could have had a bike break down and have to call for a trailer, but we didn’t (even Jan’s bike had the good sense to get her to Pueblo); a Kitty could have been involved in an accident, but they weren’t; Kitties could have struggled with the distance, but they didn’t – everyone rode their bikes like their stole them and there wasn’t one complaint or one “Are we there yet?”; and Kitties could have hated me for dragging them so far, but they didn’t (that I know of!) The 15th Anniversary trip to Pueblo was a huge success and that’s in large part to the great attitudes and “let’s have fun!” approach to this trip from the Kitties! Thank you to Lady, Star, Lil Pibble, Glitter, Twisted Angel, BatKat, Frosty, Hard Core, Sycho Suz, Boom, Moonshine, BadA$$, Krista Cotterill, Sonja McCall, Rang, Sugar and Justine Busher for one helluva trip! For those of you who were unable to attend, we missed you; we talked about you (in a good way); and we thought of you. We’ll catch you on the next one!
From Krista Cotterill: Monday. Darn, the fun is over. After getting on the road, and Lori Gibbs going back to get her gas cap, oops!, our group had a fairly non-eventful trip home. Until, we sort of took a wrong turn or something and had to make some adjustments. The important thing is that we all made it home safely. My soul regained a little bit of shine, my heart is still a little melancholy but “outlook is good” for now. The important thing is that I got to do this awesome weekend with some of the most amazing women I know. Thank you for a weekend full of laughs, a few small tears, irreplaceable memories, a new “distance in one day” record, but mostly, for the friendship and love. When can we do it again?
From Tanya Horn: Monday morning, we packed up to head back to our permanent addresses in Wichita, another 440-ish miles to add to our trip. My Kitty Sister Krista Cotterill and I went to Starbucks so we could get some shots of caffeine for the trip and it was needed. It had warmed up quickly and I truly appreciated Queenie’s knack to get where we are going in a speedy fashion!! I was really looking forward to a cold shower and puppy dog kisses those last couple hundred miles home!!
Overall, we rode 1350 +/- blissful miles. These miles were full of love and newfound friendships and for that I am forever thankful for being part of KKMC.
My takeaways:The KKMC sisterhood is the bom-diggity!! Our leader, Queenie, is top notch!! I miss riding the mountains of Colorado, but realized my heart is still wandering for my next ‘home’. My seat sucks after back to back trips of 5000 miles. I totally need a luxurious cup holder for beverages in the heat. I hope Santa brings me some fancy motorcycle luggage that everyone else has. Lastly, but mostly, my heart and soul are full because riding IS life!!
From Kari Miller: Up early to prepare for the ride home. I knew we would be in for a long day. It was hot, and my butt and body were screaming GET OFF THE BIKE! It got hot right away and seemed to take forever to get home. I just kept focused on the next stop to get off the bike and cool off. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I am happy for the time spent getting to know some Kitty Sisters better and riding in the beautiful mountains. I am proud of the Kitties that did this for the first time. It is harder to do a trip like this than it looks. Everyone did an excellent job riding their own ride. I am still recovering but would do it again in a heartbeat. Love you all.
Status report on Jan Brock’s bike: Shortly after our return, the Pueblo HD dealership made arrangements to have Jan’s bike shipped to Twister City. That’s the good news. The bad news is it STILL hasn’t been worked on. There seems to be a lot of talking going on between the Pueblo dealership, the Wichita dealership and HD corporate. Hey, HD people! How about doing a lot less talking and lot more wrenching?!