Hungry Jack in Later Years (photo: Cook County Historical Society)


We are the Seaton family: David, Nancy, our sons Ben and Will and Rosey our dog. We live all year on Hungry Jack Lake, just a stone’s throw away from the BWCAW. Nancy and David have traveled through canoe country extensively, guiding others and on our own. Canoeing in the BWCAW has been a part of our lives since childhood, and we still get out every chance we can.

Paddling as a family is a priority for us. Over our 25 years on the Gunflint Trail we’ve managed to  get out in various combinations several times each year. It helps us keep up with the changes in the forest and also to enjoy the area we love to share with you.

Ben is now 20 and spreading his wings at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  Paddling with friends is still one of his favorite things to do in the summer months though most of this summer he will be off to an archaeological dig in Turkey at a Roman bath. He may get a chance to paddle in the Mediterranean Sea.   Will, at 17, has moved to Duluth to have a bigger horizon, bigger school, more friends and to row.  Go figgur, rowing crew is an extension of what he grew up with and dovetails well with training for XC skiing.   Busy schedules have kept us from the multiple trips as a family we’re used to but we still enjoy the sunset off the end of the dock, the call of the loons in the bay and a few walleyes from – well,  from nearby.  Our knowledge of the area and experience out in the woods with people like you is an integral part of our business.

Rosey is an  English Cocker Spaniel and has been to the Quetico Park and done two winter camping trips along with many summer camping trips too.  She loves the woods though her taste for adventure is waning as she becomes an old dog.  Her main job is to be the welcoming committee and she loves her job. She is very happy to see everyone and most folks are happy to see her.  She is now in her 13th year and has slowed down some so napping in the sun is a higher priority for her.

We want all our guests to have a good vacation, to find what they are looking for in the wilderness, and hopefully to learn something new. To achieve this we listen — listen to what you are saying about who you are, why you want to come here, and what you hope to accomplish. This allows us to help you choose the trip that will turn those goals into realities.

Anyone can rent you gear and pack your food; and while we feel our gear, food and facilities are great, there’s more to it.

Our specialty is information. We give you all the information you need to find the experience you want. Whether you need  instruction on paddling or pointers on jigging for walleye, guidance on packing so your clothes all fit and stay dry or directions for finding native pictographs or orchids, we’d like to help with your vacation.

See you in the woods!

                          — The Seatons


The Story of Hungry Jack

Yes, there really was a “Hungry Jack,” and he lived and worked most of his life in the area.

Andrew Jackson Scott moved to northern Minnesota after the Civil War to seek his fortune, finding work as a trapper, survey-crew assistant, and guide.

In the winter of 1873, “Jack” Scott was setting up camp for the survey crew when it became obvious that supplies would not last for the months they were to work. The government crew snowshoed the 32 miles to town to replenish their supplies, leaving Jack to finish setting up camp.

Some say it was a severe snowstorm that delayed their return, some say it was lengthy holiday merriment. In any case, Jack was left  to fend for himself with no rations for two weeks.

Upon their return, one of the surveyors called out, “Hey, are ya hungry, Jack?” Scott’s response was, “Am I hungry, Jack? I’m darned near starved to death!”

Jack was known for his stories and embellishments, and he recounted his ordeal to the crew in detail. His story became part of local lore, and our lake has had the name Hungry Jack ever since.

Jack Scott lived near Grand Marais for the rest of his life and was actually considered a founding father of the city. His gritty appearance, coarse demeanor, and skilled woodsmanship remained part of local color till his death in 1931. His legend will always be with us.