In late July my groomsman Bill Rautenstrauch and I are planning to go on what I call The Greatest Bachelor Party Ever. The challenge? To ride bicycle from Red Lodge, Mont., to the top of almost 11,000-foot elevation Beartooth Pass. For a couple of old boys, this promises to really test our staying power. TV correspondent Charles Kuralt, who traveled this country from left to right and top to bottom, called the road to Beartooth Pass the most beautiful in America. The road was built in the Great Depression to make work for unemployed men, and it was built up a mountainside that normally no roads would go. The entire climb is about 5,000 feet vertical gain, from Red Lodge to the summit.
Bill and I will also tour the Buffalo Bill museum in Cody, Wyo., and check out Yellowstone National Park, which sits on top of the biggest volcano in North America and probably the world. Should be fun! Now we just have to figure out how to do it on a budget so enough money will be left over to pay for the wedding and honeymoon trip so Teri and I can head into marriage sort of in the black and not the red.
Bill is the same guy I rode across Iowa with two summers ago in a ride called Ragbrai with 20,000 of our newest, most close personal friends. It was like a moving party on wheels. What a crazy, crazy scene!
The Greatest Bachelor Party Ever will be more laid back. Maybe will even toast each other, on top of Beartooth Pass, with a glass of grape Nehi.