Back Story

BEAR CREEK CAMP is under new ownership and renovation since 2020.  Donna Catotti , a professional artist and Haines resident for over 30 years, will offer a unique living situation for summer residents in the outdoor guiding industry. 

“Before moving to Haines, I lived in the Sierra where I enjoyed backpacking and winter ski camping.  After graduating architecture school in 1973, my life revolved around 18-day river trips on the Colorado with Martin Litton’s Grand Canyon Dories.  As a customer in 1973, it changed my outlook on life.  By 1974 I was planning, packing, and cooking for 35, over wood fires for the privilege of being on the trip.  The wooden dories, by the way, were all painted red, turquoise, and white, hence the camp colors.

In the summer of 1987, after doing an April Grand Canyon trip together, I came to Haines to be with Rob Goldberg in Mud Bay, and all my river trips since have been private ones.  Fast forward a whole bunch of years.  I still enjoy x-c skiing, gardening, travel, and, of course, painting, sculpting, and making art.  Rob backpacks the canyon every winter, and has a dory at Paradise Cove for oar powered subsistence fishing, crabbing, and shrimping.  In his spare time Rob builds guitars, violins, and cellos for a living.

Bear Creek Camp has been here longer than I have.  It is a bit old and funky, in a cool sort of way.  It used to be a hostel with daily rentals, NOT what I am interested in.  I hope to create an intentional summer community of like-minded individuals who care about the earth, recycling, and healthy living, guides who need a place to regroup between trips, a place to relax with friends, cook a meal, have a campfire, play music, do yoga or play badminton and bocce on the lawn.  In ‘the old days’, between Grand Canyon trips, the dory crew all lived in our vehicles in the ‘ghetto’ behind the boathouse in Hurricane, Utah.  We mostly just slept there under the stars as we usually had only three days turn-around time between our 18 and 21 day trips.  Bear Creek is a whole lot cushier and cozy.  Hopefully as fun and friendly!”