Bericht über unseren wanderlustigen und wortgewandten Klassenkameraden*
Dick and Verena Montague continue to live in Ebenhausen, just south of Munich. About ten years ago, Dick took retirement, but he still does executive search work as well as counsel students who want to do graduate study in the United States. Dick and Verena stay active hiking in the summer in mountains near Munich and in cross-country skiing in Scandinavia in the winter.
Photo Captions: The Fuorcla Surlej, near St. Moritz (two photos) / Talley and Verena in front of the Hohenbachtal hanging bridge in the Austrian Tyrol / Dick and Verena enjoying Sylt
Last April, Dick again skied to one of his favorite places, the deserted three-country corner of Finland, Norway and Sweden. It was a cold day, about zero degrees F, but the ski conditions were excellent. In all, Dick did about 560 km. that season. Dick writes “I greatly enjoy the chance to get out into the Great Back of the Great Back Beyond: truly wild country, with very few signs that anyone has been there before.”
The cairn behind him has the date 1764, so it is older than Deerfield itself.
On July 1, 2013, the 113th birthday of Dick’s late, partly Scottish and partly Irish mother, Dick and Verena tried to climb Ben Nevis, Scotland, the highest “mountain” in the U.K.
Unfortunately, they did not make it to the top. Shortly after, the weather became definitely Scottish: driving rain and zero visibility. They had to turn back, yet despite the weather they saw several Scottish mountaineers there wearing kilts.
Last August they spent ten days on the beach at Kampen on the North Sea Island of Sylt.
Last September they and their malamute sled dog “Talley” were three and a half hours away from their home, atop the Fuorcla Surlej, near St. Moritz.
In October, they were in the Austrian Tyrol in the Lech river valley looking for suitable vacation spots to take their children and grandchildren this coming summer. They found what they had been seeking in the small village of Holzgau. The picture shows Verena and Talley in front of the east entrance to the Höhenbachtal hanging bridge, a tourism attraction more than 600 feet long and 330 feet above the valley.
Dick started to walk across the bridge with Talley and then, more than half way over the span, Dick saw that Talley was having trouble following him: the wire grid on the flooring of the bridge was cutting into her paws. They had to turn around, mid-bridge, and walk back to Verena. Talley, once underway, definitely wanted to get back to Verena and to firm ground.
Dick writes “I am going to have an “on-demand” pacemaker implanted in my right shoulder. I had wanted to have the pacemaker implanted in my left shoulder and actually was on the operating table, but the vein to be used proved to be unsuitable for the insertion into my heart. Consequently, on January 10th, the physician will repeat the procedure on an out-patient basis using a different vein from the right side.”
In March, 2014, they will be on their annual three-week cross-country ski tour of Finnish Lapland.