“One Big Adventure”: Missing Oakland Barber, Children Found Safe on Camping Trip

The co-owner of a popular barbershop and his two kids, who went missing after a camping trip to Sierra County has been found safe, family members said late Thursday.

That brought great relief to the family and friends of Nick Vlahos, the co-owner Temescal Alley Barbershop in Oakland, who had last been heard from Tuesday morning on a camping trip with his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. The barbershop was was featured in a 2014 New York Times article," Oakland: Brooklyn by the Bay" to show how hip Oakland has become.

People describe the old-fashioned "ultra-masculine" shop, which only takes walk-ins, as the "Cheers" of barbershops.

"The kids are safe," said business partner Rob Wharton. "It's kind of funny, they thought it was one big adventure."

The Sierra County sheriff's department said an Air National Guard helicopter spotted the family's truck in rough terrain at about 8 p.m. Thursday. The family was found near the small town of Downieville in Sierra County -- about 100 miles northeast of Sacramento.

Vlahos'  Toyota Tacoma had gotten stuck on the backroads, Wharton said, who added that Vlahos didn't panic - he kept strobe lights on to help crews find him.

Leah Bershad, who is the wife of Vlahos' other business partner, Bradley Roberts, said that Vlahos was an experienced camper, and had just returned from a trip with her husband to the Mojave desert. She and others had their fingers crossed that he was OK despite two days of worry.

Before Vlahos was found, Roberts said he assumed that he his friend had lost cell phone coverage and was just "waiting it out." He said that Vlahos always took his kids camping in the truck. "It's just one of the things they do," he said.

NBC Bay Area's Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report.

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