JOHN DAY - Nine senior citizens and six helpers ventured out to Walt and Marilyn Kight's sheep ranch where lambing season is in full swing.

The Valley View Assisted Living residents stepped off and wheeled off the People Mover bus Feb. 4 for an upclose look at newborns - one lamb was born just an hour before their arrival.

"It was nice to get out into the country," said Evelyn Holdren.

"One almost went to sleep on Pearl Coombs' lap," said Geri Pasko.

She said she learned something new on the trip.

"I didn't know that a mother sheep can growl," she said, noting the bossiness of the ewes. Also, their wool, she found, was rough, "but around their legs and face it's real soft."

The Kights have been running their 120-acre sheep ranch since 1975.

The operation has been downsized over the years to about 200 sheep as they've turned to more hay production - over 200 tons a year.

Kim Ausland, activities director at Valley View, said the residents enjoyed feeling a part of the ranch.

"Being able to hold and pet these lambs brought joy and laughter to their day," she said.

John Aasness helped coordinate the trip, which was sponsored by the Ranch and Rodeo Museum.

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