It’s always a mixed bag returning from a week of vacation. While it’s nice to get back in harness, it would also be nice to have another few days or even an extra week to enjoy leisure time.

We spent time on the Oregon coast mostly south of Newport, camping and hanging out.

While the coast is packed with natural beauty, the economic impact of the loss of lumbering as an industry is stark the further south you travel. Sometimes, we have the myopic view that Wallowa County was the only place impacted when mills were closed. Not true.

Coos Bay is a good example. While there are definite patches of progress, an obvious economic “bust” cycle is in progress.

We spent several nights in a yurt in one of Oregon’s state parks. It was a fitting home away from home. We love yurts and can’t wait to see the yurt village that is planned for Wallowa Lake State Park.

This is a great time of year to camp as all the children are in school, and it’s mostly us older types puttering around. For some reason, I get my best sleep in a sleeping bag.

One of the highlights of our trip was a concert by the Yachats Big Band. The group is essentially a community band with young and old participating. The sound was outstanding.

How difficult would it be to get some “big band” music in Wallowa County? I think we should try.

Another highlight was whale-watching. I actually saw a whale come up out of the water and go back down this trip. My eyesight isn’t the greatest, so I usually miss what everyone on the boat is oohing and aahing about.

This time there were enough of them out there and moving slow enough that I could spot them before they disappeared. Whales are amazing creatures.

MY THANKS to Tim Trainor, a former editor with our group, who stepped in and handled most of my duties remotely from Portland. Technology is an amazing thing. It’s not easy to keep track of all the moving pieces that are part of a weekly edition of the Chieftain.

We did have a sports story on the Enterprise High School football team’s crushing victory go astray. It is printed in this week’s edition. Thanks to everyone who called this to our attention.

WE HAVE two editions remaining before the November elections. Thanks to everyone who has written election-related letters. All of them have been respectful and within the word limit.

For the edition of Oct. 31, we will not be printing anything that raises new issues or allegations since there would not be sufficient time to publish a response prior to the election.

Nearly 200 people turned out for the candidate forum last Wednesday, which was among the larger crowds in recent memory. There is considerable interest in this election, which is a good thing. Let’s make sure we have a really good turnout on Nov. 7.

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