On Sunday afternoon I found myself showing property just beyond the Santa Clara County border near Skyline Boulevard (Hwy 35) and Congress Springs Road (aka Big Basin Way or Hwy 9) in the hills over Saratoga. The valley floor was fogged in and damp, but up at the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the sun was warm and shining beautifully.
I waited for my clients at our meeting place, the large parking lot off Skyline. They were running late so I meandered around, taking in the scenery, snapping some photos and enjoying the warmth of the sun. One delay grew into another and with more time on my hands, I wandered over to the Mr. Mustard hot dog stand and bought myself some lunch: $2 for a hot dog, $1 for a can of Diet Coke. (Also offered were hot links.) Good price, good food!
Scott Hagen is the proprietor of the roadside stand. During the week he’s a college student, but on weekends he’s the only show in town as far as lunch goes in this redwood forest. We chatted about his work, which he’s been doing in this same spot since he was age 15, and prior to that his father had been working this spot doing the same thing. Scott gets a good stream of hikers most weekends but in December, a whole lot of people who are in the hills buying Christmas trees, too.
When I first drove into the parking lot, I noticed a very faded “no vending” sign at the entrance, so I asked him about that. He explained that his father had been in this spot selling hot dogs for many years prior to that sign being installed, and that they are “grandfathered in”. Luckily for him, no one else is, so the Mr. Mustard stand enjoys exclusivity for this spot!
Whether you’re taking the scenic route over the hill, hiking in the hills or hunting for a Christmas tree in winter, this little roadside stand is a great place to get an inexpensive bite to eat from a friendly proprietor. Enjoy!