|Here’s what we knew:
1. Dottie Schoemaker was to pick the “K” town and route for the Sunday, June 26th ride.
2. The trip would be approximately 75 miles one way.
3. The meeting location was Derby, KS.
4. Swimming was part of our day so everyone except Kim Janzen, bring a swimsuit. Per Kim’s request, she was given special permission for clothing optional sunbathing.
5. Food would be provided.
How? Who? What? Where? These were all questions that went through my obsessive compulsive mind in the days leading up to the ride. Things like….do I wear my swimsuit or do I bring my swimsuit? Should I bring bug spray or sunscreen? Are we swimming before we eat or after we eat (oh come on…don’t tell me you’ve never worried about how you look in a swimsuit after a big lunch!!)…these were the thoughts keeping me awake the night before the ride. After convincing myself to let it go and just enjoy, I biked up at 8:30 for a hook up with the other Kitties at 9:00 in Derby.
Thirteen Kitties (Dottie Schoemaker, Tena Stoppel, Christine Allsman, Libby Beckman, Joyce Dancosse, Janice Friedman, Kim Janzen, Kathryn Langrehr, Sue Morrissey, Melaina Phares, Maureen Stout, Jean Taylor, and Nellie Taylor) were on board for this mystery ride. As we were standing around having coffee, donuts and ice cream bars (caught ya Kim!), Dottie mentioned that our first and only gas and potty stop would be in El Dorado. El Dorado???? Excuse me, Ms. Rand McNally, but did you know that El Dorado is way north of Derby? I thought we were heading south? Dottie replied with a “maybe we are and maybe we’re not” and for the 2nd time, I reminded myself to let it go and just enjoy. After directing lost Kitties, Tena, Christine and Melaina to the right Quik Trip and giving Bernie Beckman a kiss good-bye, we biked up and headed north. Or so I thought….
Before I knew it, we were headed east on 47st St. toward Thunder Road. Everyone knows I’m no direction genius (please keep your comments to yourself), but even I knew that Thunder Road would dump us in Augusta. What the hell is going on?? After watching Tena give a stupid driver in a stupid blue pick-up the snake eye for nearly broad siding Dottie, we made our way in and out of Augusta on roads I’d never been on before and for the 3rd time, I reminded myself to let it go and just enjoy.
After too many left turns and right turns to even count, we sure enough found our way to El Dorado. We’ve all been to El Dorado, but I bet you’ve never seen up close and personal the pot-holed, gravel circle, down a hill, next to a park just barely big enough for 13 bikers to make a U-turn. Well, we have and we survived it. As promised, we made a potty stop and Nellie and I got to know one of El Dorado’s finest, who was riding a Harley police motorcycle. Boy, he sure had an interesting international story! We soon biked up and left the fine city of El Dorado for parts truly unknown.
Along the back roads that we travelled, we never saw a single car. What we did see were lots of cows, horses, an ass (no silly, not Maureen) and a couple of goats. Still didn’t have a clue where we were going or even where we were, but what a peaceful, leisurely ride. I was in my Zen place when all of a sudden I started seeing street signs that read, “Woodlawn” and “Oliver” and so forth, and my Zen evaporated. Where the hell are we???
Tena said she knew as soon as she started seeing the familiar street signs. I didn’t know until I said the “Welcome to….” sign, but there we were in our own neighbor’s backyard…..KECHI, KANSAS! Yep, it took 13 Kitties 75 miles and 2 hours to ride to Kechi, Kansas! Brilliant! We hopped off our bikes (after I executed another fabulous parking maneuver) and flagged down a Kechi-ite to take some pictures to prove we made it to a “K” town. We then patted Dottie on the back for a job well done in turning a 10 minute ride into a 2 hour ride and asked, “But where are we swimming? Are we swimming in that there pond over yonder?” That’s when the real “K” surprise revealed itself. Kathryn Langrehr was hosting a lunch and pool party at her house just a short 3 miles away!
Kathryn. Wow. How can we ever thank you for opening your home and pool to 12 hot and hungry Kitties? Your home is gorgeous (seriously, the most unique coffee table I’ve ever seen), the pool is fabulous and Pool Boy a/k/a son-in-law, Bruce, standing in the gawd-awful heat grilling burgers for us….well, he sure must love you a whole lot. Wait a minute…..what am I thinking? Thirteen ladies in skimpy swimsuits and Bruce is the only man around? He probably begged for this opportunity! Your daughter, Sarah…such a lovely gal and how kind of her to share Pool Boy Bruce with us. For this leg of the trip, I didn’t have to remind myself once to let it go and just enjoy – it all came very naturally. The afternoon was so relaxing and refreshing – it truly could not have been nicer.
Kudos to Kathryn and Dottie for a fun, mysterious, and surprising trip. It was a great Kitty day for sure.