Anyone who knows us (or reads this blog) is aware of our love of Mexican and Mexican-ish food. Barry had read about a restaurant we could reach from our campground at Grayton Beach State Park via the 30a bike path. It was about 7 miles west in Santa Rosa Beach, and per their motto, with a name like Stinky's Fish Camp, it better be good! They advertise Taco Tuesdays, so we were excited to pedal over on our first full day in the area and chow down on a fish taco lunch.
What we didn't expect was a couple of challenges that turned this simple plan into an adventure.
We first took a wrong turn, confused by construction on 30a, and ended up riding into the small village of Grayton Beach. We figured out our error pretty quickly and backtracked to get back on track.
The construction that had caused our confusion was our next challenge. We knew the path was supposed to continue west, but where was it? Barry checked at a bike shop on the corner to ask what was going on. Turns out, the bike path was torn out and being reconstructed along a two-mile stretch of the 30a highway. This essentially cut the bike path into two parts, as most casual cyclists wouldn't brave riding on 30a. But we aren't those cyclists, so we decided to go for it. Riding our cruiser bike (Barry) and mountain bike (me) made us slower than on our lightweight Trek road bikes, so we'd pull over on side roads or driveways if traffic started backing up behind us, since this section of 30a had no shoulder.
Fortunately, we made it through the construction area safely and were happy to get back on the path. There were actually a few small inclines in this area, much to our surprise. East of the state park is dead flat, but west is a bit more rolling. We also had to fight a bit of a headwind in this direction.
After all that excitement, we arrived at Stinky's ready for some tacos. And they had a bike rack -- perfect! Unfortunately, in our busy preparations to get out the door, Barry had left our bike lock behind, and Stinky's had no outside seating, so we wouldn't be able to watch our bikes. So here was our next challenge!
Disappointed, my idea was to turn around and eat outside somewhere else along the way back where we could keep an eye on our bikes. But Barry had a better idea. Since this is a touristy area, there are many bike shops along the path that rent bikes. He brilliantly realized that we could stop in a shop and buy a lock. We needed a lightweight one anyway, as the one he had planned to take is super heavy duty and overkill for most areas. He really didn't want to miss out on our one chance for Taco Tuesday, and I agreed.
It worked out perfectly. There was a shop just a couple miles back down the bike path, and he scored a lightweight lock we ended up using the rest of the week, so it was a handy purchase. And the detour meant we'd built up even more of an appetite for fish tacos!
We were soon back at Stinky's and enjoying a brew, bikes locked safely outside.
The grilled gulf fish tacos were huge and even better than we expected, along with some yummy black beans and rice on the side. Worth every extra pedal stroke!
Pedaling back east with full bellies, we stopped at a public access to check out how stunning the beach looked in full sun. Both sand and water were absolutely brilliant.
This sign caught our eyes as we headed back along the path. We can rarely resist such a sign.
The bakery was tiny and right next to a big bike shop with a huge fleet of rental bikes out front. I bet this place is crazy on the weekends.
There's some colorful bike art out front.
The selections were rather limited, and pricey, so we split a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. I don't think I've ever had a $4 cookie before (after tax). It was good, but overpriced. Oh well, when in Rome....
I liked the stools with bike wheels and "pedals" to put your feet on. Creative!
On the way back, the stretch of highway in the construction zone was much less busy than in the other direction, and we had a tailwind, so we zipped right through the two-mile stretch.
Before we knew it, we were back at the park. The bike path runs right by the entrance; very convenient!
Pearl's site was at the end of one of the loops, so you can see her nestled in the foliage here, as I approached the campground turnoff.
All in all, a successful Taco Tuesday adventure!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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