Bates Bar J Ranch

The Heritage Resource Committee of MD of Bighorn has a series of videos called the oral history project. One playlist dear to me is Randy Bates talking about his folks, Jack & Barbara Bates and the Bates Bar J Ranch. Randy describes how the Bates Bar J evolved from the Elkana.

My brothers and a neighbour spent a couple of summers at the ranch. It’s a special memory of growing up in Cochrane and the area.

We went on trail rides every morning and afternoon, went swimming at the swimmin’ hole, ate in the common area, slept in chilly dorms, learned how to build shelters out of boughs, shot bows and arrows, and went on hayrides. Just about the perfect place for kids.

Here is another blog and the story of how the Bates Bar J affected her life. Bates Bar J Ranch.

That blog has a lot of comments from former alums and most speak about how the experience changed their lives and is a very fond memory.

3 thoughts on “Bates Bar J Ranch”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to spotlight this very special era. I was a camper for 5 years and they were the best summers of my life. I cannot thank the Bates family and staff enough for the memories they have provided me.

  2. There was 4 generations of Jacobs’ that enjoyed watching the ranch evolve from, like Randy said, “The bathhouse in the river and no power (or phones)”, to stainless steel commercial dishwasher and supervised electronic alarm system. We all loved and enjoyed this magical place, where the outside world would disappear, while you immersed in an adventure like no other, year after year. We have all made precious life long friendships, that have stood the test of time.


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