October-December 2008  


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Queenz of the Road:
Girlz to Graceland follow up Report
By K.Lee Kappmeier

Beatles or Elvis?” That was a question Uma Thurman posed to John Travolta in a deleted scene of Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino felt it too cliché by the time the movie was in final edit but he declared that sooner or later you must choose which you like better, Beatles or Elvis, and that could define you as a person. Rhetorical questions may cause you to think but there's nothing like two weeks on two wheels on a group road trip to make you feel.

Here is a follow up report on keeping it real with a wild & crazy ride via the Girlz to Graceland:

Nobody can plan an event like the Sol Sisters! These past few years some of us have managed to do a couple Ironbutts and long trips together. We were really growing and expanding our limits personally and as a cohesive clan. Sister Jett Ford always wanted to go to Graceland so this past year she proposed a club motorcycle trip to the Memphis Mecca. Approximately a dozen members jumped on the notion and suddenly, in Sol Sister style, the trip turned into a grand and noble peregrination across the pavement of the United States. It became a diva run raising dollars for the charity of Presley Place (a homeless shelter). Sponsors were manifesting (HELIBars, Red Bull, VitaWater and more), appearances on TV were scheduled, and a frenzy of freeway routes was all a fancy. Local filmmaker John Grimshaw and his assistant Jessie Kahnweiler came along to make a documentary of the auspicious affair.


I learned a lot. I've done cross country trips solo but it is a whole different experience traveling within the trails and tribulations of a group trip. Basically the rifts as well as the resplendent glory get magnified with the miles among a herd of strong headed and independent women. The first day out was filled with extreme heat (120 degrees). The desert is draining.

We stopped at a Mom & Pop diner in Dateline for lunch where we were approached by an amazing couple. The wife, Betsy, survived a bad motorcycle accident last year and is miraculously walking after a third of her brain was destroyed. The husband, Carrol, told us tales of his youth and working with Elvis! Because all of us Sol Sisters were wearing our GtG T-shirts the couple came over to express their fascination. They ended up giving us a check to add to the donations we were carrying to Tennessee. That day was made up of serendipity as well as sweat.

Many sisters were beaten down from the heat. One member had heat exhaustion so bad she pulled over and abandoned her bike (we went back for it with a rider and chase car). We ended up camping out for hours at a Mc Donald's to catch our breath and cool off. This was the beginning of being off schedule and adjusting to the ever changing tides of tenuous objectives.

The ride averaged 400 miles a day. Some highlights included: a day riding with some sisters of Desert Diamonds (many of whom never wear helmets), a stop over in Roswell, NM (awesome UFO museum), seeing rural small town America the most ideal way (on a scooter), riding under a huge rainbow, seeing deer (and not hitting them), parties in our honor, celebrating with kids at Presley Place, touring Graceland and being in the shadow of the Elvis statue upon arrival, getting to know each other and ourselves better, and learning how to surrender plans and give in to the call of chaos that only chicks tripping together could create.

It was the very second day (from Globe, AZ to Roswell, NM) that McDonald's seem to be a theme and the miles ridden dragged on. We are fearless and fabulous but also can be frivolous with time management. It was for the most part always fun (I loathe Mc Donald's yet between powwows there and the toy Lilia gave me from her Happy Meal to cheer me up, my recollections are all good). From a late start (yet another theme but one that often cannot be avoided with a dozen tired women traveling together), too many extended stops stealing the hours and daylight, to the pack of reluctant road captains, we were captured in both adventure and a little angst at times.

When we finally left a McDonald's in tiny town of New Mexico the air smelled of rain. The mountains in the distance we were riding into were waiting for our motorcycles with a monsoon. The rain was tumultuous and the wind tormenting. The storm kicked up soon after the sun went down.

The fast group got the worst of it. There was only one place to exit and rest as the patch of wet rough riders did. However I saw no point in stopping. As the rain poured I pressed on, all the way to Roswell where I proceeded to check into the wrong hotel!

The slow group that lagged behind with the chase cars ended up chasing the storm and missed it altogether. Some girls just have all the luck. They might have seen some lightening while the fast girls basically couldn’t see past their noses if that because the lack of visibility was as thick as their tenacity.

The bravery, biorhythms, and perhaps some innocent debauchery continued all the way to the Beal Street biker hangout (BBKings) to hear Blues. The moto mission was a success as the GtG raised approximately $500 with over $1k spent on expenses, toys and miscellaneous gifts for the kids and the shelter. Everyone at Presley Place had a big blast from being visited by a bunch of bikers.

Elizabeth Maynard Garrett, the VP of Public Relations for the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, was instrumental in gathering of GtG at Presley Place. Her husband rides so when GtG arrived she was decked out in her leathers lending all her support in many ways.

Kids took turns sitting on the steel horses and revving the engines. More than the money, the memory made a lasting impression and was the main reward for all involved in this mission.

Besides the vocation of delivering donations it was a vacation, so the sisters that were there in spirit versus in person contributed heartfelt caring thoughts. Pat Romero also gave the GtG some cashola to spend just on themselves as a treat and a testament to the greatness all us “girlz’ are capable of. Sometimes when we reach for what’s possible beyond a restless road, beyond our bike’s beauty and thunder (and yes, occasional breakdowns), to the challenge of taking a chance on a grand idea, all the more it makes the quest fit for Queenz of the Road.

So, to answer the time honored, age old, pinnacle question "Beatles or Elvis?"... It is Elvis all the way, Sista's!

NOTE: Some of the Sol Sisters, including K.Lee., started blogging while on the trip. You can read about their journeys in more detail via their blogs at:















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