First a little bit about this place, it is called the Hot Dog stand and I suppose they serve Hot Dogs but they also serve up some of the best fried oysters in the state making it most definitely worth the 175 mile ride across the state. I suppose it is also just a good excuse for a nice long bike ride. Before leaving, I set up a nice back roads route through northern Florida: from Jacksonville to Keaton Beach on the Gulf Coast where the Hot Dog Stand is located. I left Jacksonville early in the morning in a bit of a drizzling rain, not to bad but enough to put my rain pants on. Of course doing this assured that the sun was shining as soon as I was out of the city. Riding on I-10 some 30 miles west to MacClenny where I got off of the interstate onto RT121, all the way to Lake Butler, passing Raiford and the prison there. It always gives me chills, passing a prison; I cannot imagine what it would be like to have those gates close behind me, losing my freedom to be on the road. At Lake Butler, I turned West onto RT238 to I-75 where I stopped for gas and a bite to eat. Crossing under I-75 onto US41 and south to RT27 to Ft White through Brandford to Mayo where I rode SR51 all the way into the thriving small town of Stienhachee. I'd like to spend some more time here on another ride, maybe spend the night. It seems to be an interesting place. I rode through Stienhachee, past Roy’s Restaurant at the gulf and turned north onto Beach Road. 17 lonely miles later you come to the small hamlet of Keaton Beach.
To say that there is not much here would be an understatement...my kind of place. There is one road through town which heads out onto a small peninsula leading out into the gulf, at the very end of the road is a small parking lot, some covered picnic tables on the beach and beyond that the Gulf of Mexico. Also at the parking lot is a small shack with a large sign on it that says Hot Dog Stand. There was one problem today though, It was closed. I was the only one in the parking lot. I got off of the bike, walked over to the Shack, looking through the windows , I could see chairs upside down on tables but no signs anywhere about the place being closed or open and there was no one around to ask. Bummer! I had really been looking forward to a large basket of oysters! I walked over and sat at one of the picnic tables and gulf for a while, watching Pelicans flying low above the water which was calmer than a lake with hardly a ripple on it . Finally I walked back to the bike. punched "home" into the GPS and soon I was back onto I-10 where I put the hammer down...at 80 mph with the boots up on the highway pegs and the cruise control on, it wasn't long before I was back in Jacksonville.