H-Bar-G Ranch
Memories
Hi. My memories of H-Bar-G and Lou, were from three stays in 1988, 1989 and 1993. A great place and a great man, the sort of American who called us English "Limeys"! On my first visit, within an hour I badly sprained my ankle. Lou sorted that out and I was up and around in a couple of days. Memories of Hummingbirds and Hawks overhead, good conversation and Lou's old army truck. Luckily my last stay in 1993 was for 11 days, and I managed to climb Long's peak. Whenever I hear wind pass through pine trees, or catch a smell of pine resin I am always transported back. I consider myself lucky to have known him and the H-Bar-G.

- Andy Lane (Nottingham, England)

I went to the H-Bar-G Ranch Camp for girls for two summers, 1959 and 1960. Some of the best memories of my life. The memories are still vivid. How I loved the backpacking experiences.

- Fran Hoffman Cosby (Denver, CO)

In 1996 I brought a group of developmentally disabled adults to the H-Bar-G on a vacation. There were actually five of us: me, the three clients, and my son Derek, who was in his early teens. We stayed in the bunkhouse that's next to the mess hall. Estes Park is an amazingly beautiful place, and the view from this dude ranch-turned Hostel was spectacular. We especially enjoyed our times in the mess hall when we made our own food but got to mingle with other travelers.

For me, this was part of the mystery and mystique of the H-Bar-G Ranch. I so wish it were back up and running again. I now have my own tour company, and I'd love to bring my vacationers back to the Ranch!

- Mindy Desens (Litchfield, MN)

I was very fortunate to find the H-Bar-G in the summer of 1977 when I fell in love with Estes Park as an adult. I had grown up going to the YMCA of the Rockies but found the youth hostel, run by Lou Livingston, an excellent experience. I moved up for a vacation but stayed for the rest of the summer, working for the Stanley Hotel and using the Ranch as my base after summer travel slowed. I have very fond memories of the view of Longs Peak and the wonderful friendly people at the H-Bar-G.

- David Sutherlin (Austin, TX)

I Googled H-Bar-G today since I woke this morning having dreamt myself back in time to my last summer at the H-Bar-G. Last time that happened, I heard Lou say, "Hi Pete," in his inimitable style. Although I love living here in Alaska now, I think that only Heaven will erase the painful knowledge that the H-Bar-G and my summers there working for Lou are only but a memory. That place still seems so much like home to me. Great to see comments from some of my former hostelers here, and looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for the great pictures, too.

- Peter

I stayed at the H-Bar-G for 2 weeks in 1996 as a backpacker. The H-Bar-G is popular with world travelers. Everyone who has stayed at the H-Bar-G might know the reason for it. That is the great atmosphere.

I spent 2 nights on Longs Peak, and then got back to the H-Bar-G. We needed a good base camp for a successful climb. So I would say that the H-Bar-G was like the first base camp. Before going out, it was a good place to prepare. After coming back, it was a good place to relax.

I enjoyed chatting with Lou at the office. I enjoyed meeting people from many different countries. I am a lazy correspondent, but I have never forgotten those whom I met at the H-Bar-G!

- Masa (Japan)

My name is Faiz M. Faiz and I taught a group of 33 peace corps volunteers in 1969 (June) for 3 months. The hospitality of Lou and Anne Livingston indeed added to the beauty of the H-Bar-G Ranch experience. I am originally from Afghanistan and I graduated from Ball State University. My time at H-Bar-G showed me the wonderfull American hospitality and beauty of this country. I remember driving "Woody" everyday to take the peace corps to Estes Park, CO and back to the camp for more language teaching the next day. I will always, as long as I am living, carry the fond memory of H-Bar-G Ranch. Thank you for your website and stirring up great memories! I hope to visit again one day.

- Faiz M. Faiz (Muncie, Indiana)

My memories of summers at H-Bar-G, during the years that the Livingston family offered up their wonderful property as a camp for girls, are so many and so meaningful that I have been at work on a group of short stories about them for several years now. They start with the overnight on the Burlington Zephyr from Chicago and haven't ended yet. I often drive up from my home in Denver, follow the road we rumbled in camp bus and Annie’s VW, and gaze over the fence, remembering. Nothing else in my life feels quite as real as being there, ready to pull on the rope that opens the gate. You all remember - I know you do.

H-Bar-G was, is, and I suspect always will be the true home in my heart. Perhaps, now that I have found this site, I will include snipets from the stories as I work on them. Anyone who was there during that time, or even after - for skeptical as I am in general, I cannot help but believe that H-Bar-G is one of those places that holds onto the spirits of those who have been fortunate enough to live there, so our love reaches deeper and farther than the brief moments we were there - may, please, comment on what I write or just get in touch with me. My understanding of nature and love and connection to the world derive from my blissful youth in that place that Lou and Anne and countless others before and since shared with me. Lucky we were, and I would love to hear from you.

Above all, I thank the Livingstons for giving me the gift of horses from Sombrero, freedom in the mountains, Vespers on Sunday, sticky buns and egg-in-the-hole, and my first and deepest love. Home is where you find it.

- Patsy Nathanson Hunt
patsy@fetedenver.com
303-619-0912

Jane ChristensenMy Mom spent a year living in Shep's cabin at H-Bar-G Ranch in 1972. She especially loved the views from the property, and everyone else she met. She tells me the story that when she left Colorado to move to Minnesota she cried as she was leaving the mountains. The H-Bar-G Ranch holds her fondest memories of living in Colorado. Now, over 30 years later I (her daughter) am living in Estes Park. Although she still lives in Minnesota, she always says she misses "home".

- Jamie Christensen on behalf of Jane Christensen

I spent almost a year traveling USA/Canada 86/87. And my stay at H-Bar-G Ranch stands out as the best. During my stay I met people from around the world and everybody was positive and happy during their stay enjoying the great scenery by eye and foot. I especially liked Lou's way of treating people. Forever in my memory - member of Funbunch 86.

- "Big Dane" Steen Andersen (Hilleroed, Denmark)

I went to H-Bar-G when it was a girls's ranch camp. I went there in 1962, 1963 and 1964. I loved every minute of those three summers. Did any of you out there go at the same time? Please contact me if you did. Thanks for the memories!

- Carol Siden Caplan (Northbrook, IL)

Oh, seeing this site brings back good memories. My family visited H-Bar-G 11 years in a row, and then the summer I turned 18, I lived there for three months and worked in town. I am from Kansas, but I wanted the experience that I saw Europeans having all of the years I went there of working and learning about different cultures. We met so many people over the years, and Lou was gruff and wonderful. My mom still keeps in touch with Ann from time to time. Wonderful memories. I am so excited, the whole family is meeting in Estes next week-end, and we get to go back and visit, to walk around. It will be good to be there again!

- Melanie Sanders

I spent ten consecutive unforgettable summers at the H-Bar-G, beginning in 1976. Lou, Anne and their daughters Julie and Jill became like family over those years. For a city kid from L.A., discovering the peace and majesty of this place was a life-changing experience. I met a slew of global souls from every corner of the Earth at the hostel, some of whom I'm still in touch with 30 years later. I'll never forget this special place or the man who was gracious enough to share it with the world.

- Bob Port (Carpinteria, CA)

I spent the most wonderful summer of my childhood as a camper at H Bar G Ranch Camp For Girls. It was the summer of 1961 and I was a horse-mad teenager. My parents sent me for the 8 most memorable weeks I ever spent as a child. Oh gosh... I remember my horse! She was a sorrel quarter horse named Ginger and at the time I was almost my adult height - 5' 7"! I think I probably dwarfed that horse when I sat on her but oh, I loved her! The highlight of the camp experience was a horseback backpack trip into the RMNP back country and it was just a magical time for me. I loved those 8 weeks. I only wish I had some photographs to remember them by but in those days, kids did not travel with digital cameras -there WERE no digital cameras!

- Gloria Scheffres Dittmann (Lake Zurich, IL)

My family has absolutely wonderful memories of July 27th through August 1st, 1997 at the Ranch. Lou Livingston was an incredible host, and what vistas, hiking, and wildlife we experienced. God rest his soul. We will never forget Lou or the Ranch.

- Dave Pennell (Mansfield, OH)

I spent the beginning months before the fall of '78 at the ranch. A member of Youth Hostel, with many other International backpackers, had a fantastic time, worked in the town of Estes Park, partied at night, took heaps of great photos, with the final memory of the snow beginning to fall on Longs Peak and Lou deciding to close down for the winter. A once in a lifetime experience.

- Malcolm

I spent the summer of 1974 at the H-Bar-G Ranch as a member of the Youth Conservation Corps. I have some wonderful memories and photos of my time there. In addition to the beautiful scenery, I remember a party that the ranch owner Lou gave for all the YCC members, as well as a memento that he had of the Titanic!

- Mary Chunko (Washington, DC)

If this is the place I think it may be, the Peace Corps group of English teachers and Family Planners that were headed for Tunisia (summer 1968) did a training session at the H Bar G.

- Marijane Andreopoulos (Luxembourg)
 
 
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