ExplOregon: The Backstories’

Rick and Kathy have launched a new adventure, ”ExplOregon: The Backstories.” Readers can follow them online and in The Chronicle – with an opportunity to even join them.

Oregonians love to travel, and we – Rick and Kathy Dancer – are hooked on traveling to the less-likely tourist spots on the backroads of rural Oregon.
I worked in television news in Eugene for more than 20 years. In my career I spent a lot of time covering the backcountry. Why? I’ve always been attracted to the people and the places that garner less attention.
A year and a half ago, my wife and I started ”ExplOregon: The Backstories,” a live/as-if-live series of shows shot in places like Coos Bay, Joseph, Haines and Cave Junction – just to name a few. We offer a ”Getaway Package” to viewers that allows a team of two to go and do the same things we get to do.
We are not the voice of rural Oregon, but provide a platform for the backstories hidden in small towns or on rural farms. We are not exploiting the less-known lifestyle but exposing the rest of the world to a gold nugget that simply needs to be unearthed so its beauty is shown.
When I quit my anchor job at KEZI and ran for secretary of state in 2008, I was the candidate who visited 26 of Oregon’s 36 counties (my opponent went to three). I heard the same story over and over: Eugene and Portland run the state and we in rural Oregon are voiceless.
I guess that stuck with me. I haven’t forgotten what I witnessed. I too grew up feeling voiceless and understand the depth of what it can do to one’s soul. I recently discovered, in searching for my own reasons for doing what I do, that giving others a platform for their voice has always been my compass.
Now, Kathy and I are turning that passion into a business that is attracting millions of eyes – and I’m not exaggerating at all.
We’re going to be writing about our adventures for the Chronicle; after all, this is our home and we want to share with you what we find and experience.
And, please, if you have a rural story to tell, let us know at [email protected].

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Follow Rick and Kathy on Facebook@ ExplOregon The Back Stories, on Instagram@ exploregonthebackstories and on YouTube@ ExplOregon – The Back Stories



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