Unknown (until now) to most, but famous to all of his friends, Robert should be considered a National Treasure. Born in Flint, Michigan to a multigenerational Flint family, Robert is the eldest of eleven children. His maternal grandfather was born in a sod hut near Smith Center, Kansas, the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states. Trekkin’ is dedicated to him.
Robert’s paternal grandfather was the blacksmith for Keeweenaw County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A historical plaque designates the shop as a National historic landmark. Robert and his beloved wife Ingrid Halling live in Flint, along with their pup Frida, Groucho the cat and they maintain a hideaway high above the bay in San Francisco. Robert’s eclectic past activities include ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood, a cable car operator and driving for the city of San Francisco Transit. (Drive through the city with him and he will point out old characters he befriended and regale you with sensitive stories about their quiet and eccentric lives). In between those careers he describes his life as an itinerant pilgrim based in his Mecca, San Francisco.
Robert states: “San Francisco will always be my spiritual home because it was there I found the place I should be.” Teachers and guides along the dharma and overlanding around the world along the old international hippie trail shaped his life in a gentle but profound manner and continue to influence his world perspective to this day. These days Robert can be found during cooler weather engaged in activities such as videotaping, recording and writing in Bob’s Garage with Frida Dawg (who, we are reminded, has procured a manager due to her recent YouTube fame).