I first met Rob on the winter classic from Nabesna to Mcarthy back in 2007ish. I stumbled upon him at dusk at the end of the “stubborn and ruthless” Skolai gorge. at first thought he was a grizzly from distance but elated to see he was a fellow beast of the “winter classic” burden.Had not seen a soul since day 1 so it was a special re-union at day 7 or more to spend a night on the rocky terminus of Skolai gorge with Rob and his warm, big hearted personality.
we set out 7a.m. the next morning for McCarthy. Enjoyed a 27 hour slog w/ Rob as we picked our way down the Nizina. Important to mention I had a broken ski binding re-attached w/ mechanics wire. I was slow and Rob could easily have carried on at a happier unrestricted rate. He chose to stay in contact the entire way patiently waiting as my one ski slid like a ski and the other like a snowshoe.
Will always remember his words of encouragement yelling out “you’re a rockstar” as i carried onwards at a snails pace on snow.
We spent an hour or more trying to pick up the trail from the river to McCarthy at 4 in the morning.He stayed calm and deliberate the whole time. Once we found the trail we celebrated with a camp fire and rested for a half hour while I scared the “world” upon removing my feet from my boots.
On the connector trail back to McCarthy Rob stepped it out at a great pace as he told stories of his experiences on the Iditarod trail invitational.
He was a wonderful, supportive, happy big hearted guy to wander thru the wilderness with.
He will be sorely missed by all those he touched with his energetic and warm personality.
I played rugby with Rob in Boulder in the 90’s and was fortunate to play a rugby match with him again on June 21, 2014 at the Alaska Mountain Rugby Ground. What a great guy then and again when we re-united. His Boulder rugby mates miss him.