Outdoor adventure is a tremendous joy in my life and much thanks for that goes to Nick who is more widely known as “Co-Chief”.  He is a powerful leader who will never attain Chief status in this lifetime because he was born into an era of feminism where he continually has to settle for the title of Co-Chief to strong women who are indisputably the Chiefs: his marvelous wife Gina, Dionne who runs Los Angeles Backpackers Club, and now he’s declared that he will be Co-Chief of The Adventures of Dusty House.  Mind you, he wasn’t invited to be Co-Chief of any of these enterprises (I’m pretty sure he even had to ask Gina if she would mind him being her life Co-Chief), but much like an imperialist nation, he sees territory where his marvelous presence should be highlighted and simply declares himself Co-Chief.  And so he is.

I ask you, don’t you want to go on the backpacking trip in this video?

Nick brings this fun together. It is with this group that I learned the fine art of making a couple of delicious meals at home, freezing them, then letting them thaw slowly in your backpack so you can have fresh home cooked dinner on the trail. Ultralight? No way. Living well?  Absolutely. We laugh the night away singing commercial jingles by the campfire.  We play “Backwoods Baseball” (Whiffleball). Often somebody will bring a cell phone movie projector and string up a sheet, everyone will set up their backpacking chairs and watch a movie in the middle of nowhere.

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Nick’s trips are like free summer camp for adults just because he’s there with his glorious charm.

Nick organizes extremely well attended, twice monthly backpacking and bikepacking adventures through the Los Angeles Backpackers Club Meetup Group.  Most of the camping locations are in the mountains and beaches surrounding Los Angeles area and occasionally in the Sierras and boy does he make it fun!  I’ve met wonderful people because of his charismatic leadership and am proud to call him and Gina friends, but when he said in no uncertain terms that he wanted to be Co-Chief of The Adventures of Dusty House I put him through a rigorous test.  I asked if he could do pull-ups.  He took the cigarette out of his mouth and started coughing, “Excuse me?! Of course I can do pull-ups!  I can’t believe you’d ask me that.  I just look like this, but I can do pull ups!”  I said, “Well, how many?”  He stared me down for a minute then with great hauteur tucked his can of beer into his pocket, stuck the cigarette back in his mouth, and marched over to the playground where he proceeded to do three pull-ups on the bar of the swing-set.  He passed my bad-ass test.  One more pull-up and he could forget all about my blog and join the French Foreign Legion.

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Nick auditioning to be Co-Chief of The Adventures of Dusty House 

After passing the Co-Chief test Nick marched right over to my husband to tattle on me for having the nerve to ask if he could do pull-ups.

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As far as I can tell, all that is required of a Co-Chief of The Adventures of Dusty House is that he gets to be the primary focus of this blog post in which I sing his well deserved praises and he gets to pose for pictures looking super macho with our good buddy Pedaling Pete.

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Pedaling Pete and Co-Chief

Here’s to you Co-Chief, the most interesting man in the room.

Sharks dedicate a week to him.

He can speak French in Russian.

When he writes Thank You notes they inspire Your Welcome notes.

His fortune cookie just says “Congratulations”.

Thank you Gina for making him eat salad once in a while so he can stay alive to be the life of the party.

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Co-Chief’s life Chief Gina on the right.  Wolf whistles!

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