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March 2013 / April 2013 Newsletter

A condensed events and activities list can be found on our Calendar page.
Membership information can be found on our Membership page.

General Participation Guidelines
Always sign up ("pre-register") for an event by using our Meetup.com site or by contacting the leader so you can be reached if there is a change or an event cancellation.  Trip leaders generally make all reservations and arrangements and may set group size limits on some trips and activities.  If you are not pre-registered you may be turned away at some events.

Additional information about these activities and events may be announced at monthly meetings, on our Meetup.com site, and by Meetup.com messaging.  If you did not sign up for an event or activity at the last club meeting and would like to do so, you may add your name to the list at our Meetup.com site.  If you have additional questions, please contact the trip or activity leader directly.


Sat 3/16, 8:30am, ROPES AND ZIP LINES AT ZOOMAIR DAYTONA BEACH, FL: Enjoy a treetop adventure at Zoom Air Adventure Park Daytona Beach, up in the trees of Tuscawilla Park. Zoom Air’s aerial adventure courses are deftly woven into the forest of this easily accessible City of Daytona Beach Park. Go arboreal, as you swing, climb, balance, and zip from tree to tree. Get a bird’s-eye view of the land below as you travel in the trees over dancing logs and tight wires, across rope bridges, nets, and suspended disks. Feel your adrenaline pump as you conquer abundant treetop challenges, including exhilarating rides on our zip lines. Meanwhile, your perches in the trees offer an opportunity to see flora and fauna not found on the ground, and a brand-new perspective on the park’s well-known disc golf course.

During a briefing on the ground, you are taught to use the equipment and games safely. Once you and we are confident that you understand how to proceed safely, you head for the trees and adventure! Our qualified operators, on the ground, monitor your progress through the games and are available for any questions or concerns you may have along the way. You proceed independently, your safety ensured by the two slings from your harness that are always attached to a red life line.

The Lagoon and The Reef: Enjoy nature from a new perspective. Both courses are included in one admission – that’s over 30 treetop games, including 8 zip lines, and a chance to play Tarzan! The challenge and height of the games gradually increases, to give you a chance to get your “tree legs.” (Minimum height 54”).

Point Break: Higher and more difficult than the preceding two courses, Point Break adds 16 more games, including 4 more zip lines – one of them around 500 feet long. Cost is $24.95 for the Lagoon & Reef or $34.95 for all three courses. ZOOM Air offers a 10% discount on the admission price for groups of 15 or more, provided all admissions are purchased in a single transaction. Adults will leave Photo ID as deposit for harnesses. It will be returned when all harnesses for the group are returned. There is a 54" minimum height requirement for the adult courses and an approximate 275-pound weight limit - maximum waist size for harnesses is 48"; maximum thigh size is 26". Total time to complete both courses is approximately 2 - 3 hours depending on breaks.

Meet at the McDonalds on Old St. Augustine Road (south of I-295) just west of I-95 at 8:30am for our carpool and the approximate 1-hour drive to Daytona. Wear comfortable outdoor clothing; secure, closed footwear ("sneakers"); Remove jewelry and scarves that could get caught; Tie back your hair and secure your eyeglasses. Bring a water bottle with clip, camera and a bandana to wipe your brow on the course. Bring snacks in an ice chest which we will leave in our cars or at a picnic table if someone in our group chooses to remain on the ground. You may purchase water and snacks at the very limited onsite snack bar.  http://www.zoomair.us/daytonabeach/learn_more.html

Leader: Steve D. 561.602.8613 mobile / ste_dor 'at' bellsouth.net

Sun 3/17, Big Talbot Island Biking:  CANCELLED

Sat 3/23, Habitat for Humanity Project: Sidetrackers are volunteering at Habitat for Humanity. Time will be from 8am to 12pm, with check in to start 7:45. Jordan Park Community Center
1671 Francis Avenue, Atlantic Beach, FL. Directions to the meeting location will be made on our website shortly. You may contact Vicki Andrews at

Sun 3/24, 10:00am, Hiking Trip at Theodore Roosevelt Park:  Come hike with us at Timucuan Preserve, Mt. Pleasant Road, Jacksonville, Florida.  Be sure to park in the first parking lot (Timucuan Preserve).  There is no address available, but the park entrance is approximately 1 mile off Ft. Caroline Road. Come out and join an energetic, challenging and extremely scenic hike at the Theodore Roosevelt Park in the Ft. Caroline area in Jacksonville.   The hike will be approximately 3-4 miles with some steep hills, views of the salt marshes, wildlife, and some of the most beautifully manicured wooded trails in Florida.   This is an expansion of the Timucuan Preserve.  The park is located in the Ft. Caroline area close to the Wonderwood Bridges.

http://www.nps.gov/timu/planyourvisit/directions_theodorerooseveltarea.htm. There is no fee to get in. Best to wear comfortable shows or hiking boots, bring bug spray, sun block, and water.

Parking is limited, but you can park in the grass, per the Park Ranger. Leader Julie Hayes: 904 424 1548. Please sign up via the Meetup.com/sidetrackers/ website.

Sat 3/30, Kayak Safety Training: As many of you may have noticed, our group has grown to over 900 members strong, and counting!  It’s important that we keep our kayak trips safe and enjoyable for all. It is obvious that we need more members planning trips, and these trips need to be done in a safe and efficient manner.  The purpose of this training is to help make our trips a little safer and more organized, and perhaps find some great trip leaders to help introduce the sport of kayaking in a safe way! Joe Crespi, owner of First Coast Outfitters, will be the main instructor.  He is an ACA L4 Open Water instructor/ACA endorsed Rolling Coach, and has been working in the paddle sports industry for over 15 years.  Depending upon the number of people who sign up, he may bring additional instructors to help him.  Please note that we need a minimum of 10 attendees for this event in order to enjoy the much lower pricing (check out the normal costs at First Coast Outfitters website!), and for safety reasons, the event is capped at 20.

We will launch our kayaks at the Ribauld Club launch area located at 11241 Fort George Road, Jacksonville, FL (http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl).  We will meet at 9 am at the Club, drop off our kayaks, park our cars in the parking lot and then get on the water!  There is a quiet lagoon off the main stream of the intracoastal where the actual training will take place.  The course lasts a good 6 hours, which seems like a long time, but trust me, it goes by really fast when you are having fun, and you will have fun!!  Oh, and bring lunch or some snacks as Joe does allow a few breaks!

The cost of this training course is $40.00 per person.  If you do not own a kayak or some of the equipment, it will be provided by Joe through his business (FCO), including kayaks, free of charge, so don’t let the lack of equipment stop you from learning a new sport!  YOU MUST CALL JOE IF YOU NEED EQUIPMENT RENTAL AT LEAST 1 WEEK PRIOR TO THE EVENT (904) 595-5976. Focus Of the course:  Strokes and Maneuvers, Self and Assisted Rescues, Tides & Currents, Weather, Group Management, Emergency Procedures.

MUST HAVE FOR CLASS (equipment available through Joe) Kayak, Paddle, PFD (personal flotation device/life jacket), Whistle, Paddle Float, Tow Rope, Pump

I took this course last October and learned quite a bit and had loads of fun.  If you have any questions or need any directions, please call the Leader:  Karen Montgomery   (904-563-5155) or send me a message. 

Wed 4/3, 6:30pm, Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat 4/6, 8:00 am, 2013 Setting the Pace for Peace/Hubbard House Domestic Violence Awareness Walk: The walk, being held at The Jacksonville Landing, is a FREE, fun, family-friendly event which includes games, activities, music, a 2-mile walk route overlooking the beautiful downtown Jacksonville skyline and the St. Johns River, and more. A shorter 1-mile walk route is also available.  Family Fun Zone begins at 8:00am, and the actual walk begins at 9:00am. We will meet on the southeast corner of S. Hogan Street & Water Street, outside the Landing itself no later than 8:15 am and then get ready for the walk.  There are numerous parking garages in the immediate vicinity of the Jacksonville Landing, and with the event being held on a Saturday should allow for ample parking.  Street parking in metered spaces on Saturdays is free also. For more complete information, and to register as an individual participant (to have your walk count towards volunteer hours), please go to Hubbard House’s website at www.hubbardhousewalk.com and resister to join a team.   It is important to register online (I registered the team Sidetrackers, so register as one of it’s team members) as soon as possible so that the organizers can provide enough water and volunteers for the event.  If you need help with registration or other information, you can contact Ashley Johnson Scott at Hubbard House at 904-354-0076 extension 212.  

Once you register with the team, you will receive emails from Hubbard House with further critical information about this event, including parking and weather for the day of the event.  By participating in the Setting the Pace for Peace Walk, you are making a difference in the lives of women, children, and men who have experienced domestic violence.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am a survivor of domestic violence both as a child and as an adult, and I volunteer every week at the battered woman’s center.  So come, have fun, meet new people, and enjoy making a difference in changing a societal issue! Leader:  Karen Montgomery  904-563-5155 cell

Sun 4/7, 8:00am, Hawthorne Rail-to-Trail Bike Ride in Gainesville:  We will meet at Hardee's on Lane Avenue (south of I-10 on the left) at 8:00am.  Arrive early if you are going to have breakfast.  If you plan to carpool, make your plans prior to arriving at Hardee's.  We will be starting our ride at the Hawthorne end of the trail (15.5 miles)  which is flat until a mile or two before the trail ends at Boulware Springs Park in Gainesville.  This will allow those who do not want to do the hilly part to stop at the Paynes Prairie overlook while others ride to the end and back.  At Paynes Prairie which is very scenic, you will see alligators, and if lucky, the rare sighting of wild horses and bison. The trail is surrounded by trees and a variety of wildlife roam here and there; i.e. birds, squirrels, raccoons, etc.  There is a limit of 25 persons.  Please bring plenty of water and a snack to hold you over till we stop for food after the ride.  Leader:  Marta Winters, cell  904.635.7170. If for some reason you had rsvp'd for the event and at the last minute cannot do the event, please notify the leader by phone that you will not be going; so, we will not be looking for you.  The Hawthorne trailhead is 58 miles from Hardees and about an hour's drive.

Sat 4/13, 10:00am Hike/Walk at UNF Nature Trails:  Sleep in a bit and then come and join us for a pleasant hike at the UNF Nature Trails. Our trail will proceed around Lake Oneida and then through pine Flatwoods and the wetlands of the deep swamp. We should be able to view many of the native plants and wildlife associated with the habitat and a 500 year old Grandfather Cypress tree. The total distance will be approx. 2.5 miles. After the hike, for those interested, we can stop by one of the fun eateries at nearby St John's Town Center to have some lunch and to relax in the warmth of the indoors.
You will want to bring a bottle of water, appropriate hat and layered clothing for the weather, and a bright friendly smile. Directions - take 9A and exit at UNF Drive towards the UNF campus. We will meet and park at parking lot 100 which is on the right and is next to the Eco-Adventure Outfitters Center and the trail heads. Please sign up on
meetup.com or call me to advise you plan to attend.  Leader: Sue Rorer (904-349-3619 cell). http://www.unf.edu/recsports/nature/

Sun 4/14, 9:30am, IchetuckneeSprings Paddle:  Join us as we paddle the crystal blue waters of the Ichetucknee River.  We will meet at 9:30 at the McDonalds on Chafee Road (off I-10). This is an easy paddle with a current and the trip is approximately 3 miles.  Depending on the weather, you may see alligators, birds, wild boar and several springs.   You can bring your own kayak or canoe (tubes are not allowed on River in April) or rent from the Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins, (385)497-2150. We will meet at the kayak rental outfitters and they will portage us back to the head of the river (where we started) for those who are renting.  At the end of the trip, we will be picked up and taken back to our cars. There is no charge to portage the people who brought their own boat.  We will, however, need someone to stay with the equipment until the other cars arrive for pick-up.  Rental kayaks are only $17 a person and there is a $5 fee per person for entrance to the park.  The trip leaves the outfitter at 12:00 and is under Sidetrackers and/or Julie Hayes.  You are responsible for the payment of your rental, which is due upon arrival.  Please visit their web site (if you plan on renting a boat) and fill out the release form and bring it with you.  The fastest way to get to the rental outfitter is Option 1 on the website listed below.   www.ichetuckneecanoeandcabins.net/directions/. There is a limit of 25 people, so please sign-up only if you plan on attending. Bring bug spray, snacks or lunch, water and sunscreen.  From McDonald on Chaffee Road, plan on traveling about 1 – hours.  Carpooling is available, but will take some advance planning if you bring your own boat. After the paddle, we will stop for a late lunch/early dinner or grill at the park.   Your suggestions are welcome and I will keep you updated.  Trip leader is Julie Hayes, 424-1548 (cell).

Sat 4/20, Okefenokee Swamp Wildlife Hike, GA. Details to follow

Sun. 4/28, 10:00am, Hike/Walk through the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens: We will meet in the Arboretum at 10:00am in the parking lot.  The Arboretum is just off Monument Rd – first turn heading east on Monument off of I-295. The address is 1445 Millcoe Rd. Jacksonville, 32225.  A brief history: The approximately 120-acres that make up the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens are unique in that within its boundaries lay 13 distinct and different eco-systems.

In 2006, the property was leased from the City of Jacksonville and work began by community volunteers to create an arboretum for all to enjoy. I strongly recommend that you visit the website: www.jacksonvillearboretum.org  The walk through the several trails is only about 3 miles of not too strenuous exercise. We can determine a place to lunch from many in the area afterward. Leader Tim Scott, cell 904-705-3335.

Wed 5/1, 6:30pm, Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat 5/4, 7:15am, Soaring (Gliding) in Clermont, FL: We will meet at McDonalds on Old St. Augustine Rd. (by I-95) at 7:00 am. (come earlier if you want to eat breakfast). We need to leave McDonald’s by 7:15 because Clermont is 165 miles from the McDonalds and it’s a full 2 1/2 hour drive. We want to be in the air by 10 so that everyone can get a good flight. You can make arrangements to carpool in advance. I have spoken with the people at the Gliderport and have made tentative reservations for 10 people. They have to bring in pilots so they need the advance notice. They will have two pilots ready for us which means we can have two people gliding at one time. If we have more people, they will have to get another pilot, so I have to have the number of people by April 17. Maximum of 14-15. They fly from 8-5. The weather is only a factor if there is rain/thunderstorms or strong winds. We will check this out a couple of days in advance. You sit in the front seat of the glider and have a full control panel in front of you. You sit way in front of the wings so your view is totally unobstructed. It is pretty much close to flying by yourself. The pilot sits behind in a separate cockpit and will do a few aerobatics if you like. Flights are $120.00 for 20 minutes; $160.00 for 30 minutes, and $200.00 for 40 minutes. If we have 6 or more people we get a 10% discount. I was told that the 30 minute flight is the best for the money. No deposit required. You may want to bring a picnic lunch for yourself since I don’t know what is available at the Gliderport. There will be wait times before and/or after your flight while others go up. We probably won’t be leaving until around 5:00pm and Orlando is on the way back so we might find a place for dinner on the way. Leader Tim Scott, cell 904-705-3335. Please call to let me know if your plans change. We need to have at least 6 people for the discount. The website for the Gliderport is http://www.soarfl.com

Sat 5/11, 10:30am, Amelia and Cumberland Islands River Cruise: Come join us for a two-hour cruise providing the rich history of Amelia and Cumberland Island. From Fernandina's shrimp boats, historic Old Towne and Ft. Clinch, to the wild horses of Cumberland Island and the ruins of the Carnegie Dungeness Mansion and the Greyfield Inn.  Carpool: Meet at 8:45 am at Hardee's, 9111 Merrill Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225. Ferry Cruise boat departs 10:30am.

Tickets are Adults $27. Seniors $27. Plus sales tax of 7%. Amelia River Cruises Fernandina Harbor Marina,1 North Front Street, Fernandina Beach FL 32034. http://www.ameliarivercruises.com/dailytours.html

After the cruise there is the option of gathering for lunch at a local restaurant. Hosted by: Vicki Andrews. Contact Phone number:904-504-9432. Sign up on Meetup.com/Sidetrackers.

Fri-Sat 5/17-18, Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere, FL Details to follow

Sat 5/25, Full Moon Paddle - Details to follow

Sun 5/26, White Springs Folk Festival - Stephen C. Foster Park – Details to follow

Fri-Sun 5/31 - 6/2, Rainbow River Camping Dunnellon, FL -  Details to follow

Wed 6/5, 6:30pm, Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat 6/8, 9:00am, Westside (Cedar River) Urban Paddle & Lunch:

We will meet at 9:00am, at the Curtis Lee Johnson Marina Boat Ramp at 5434 San Juan Avenue.   (http://goo.gl/maps/sFlgR) . Our plan is to paddle two rivers on the same day, without leaving the water (three if you are really up for it!)  We will put our kayaks in on the Cedar River, paddle to the junction of the Ortega River, then paddle to where the Ortega River meets the St. Johns.  Depending on the water and how adventurous some of you might be, you can continue on and paddle some on the St. Johns.  Please note!  There are no kayak rentals available for this trip.  Everyone who RSVPs must bring their own kayak, gear, lunch & beverages.  A PFD (life jacket) and whistle are required.  Sunscreen, bug spray, and water are strongly recommended. We will launch from the Johnson Marina Boat Ramp and will paddle into the Cedar River. We anticipate being on the river by 10:00am. After paddling the Cedar River south down to where it joins the Ortega River, we will then paddle east on the Ortega River and put in at Stinson Park, located at 4050 San Juan Ave.  We will have lunch at the park, and enjoy a different view of the City.  The Park has plenty of shade, but few tables, so bring folding chairs to the launch site.  Now, there is ample parking at the Boat Ramp, but very limited parking at the Park.  We plan to move a car or two over to the Park (approximately a mile by roadway from the launch site) with coolers & some folding chairs before the launch so you can store your lunch items and not worry about paddling with coolers, food or chairs.  And anyone who doesn’t want to paddle back to the Boat Ramp can be chauffeured back to pick up their car.  The paddle from the Ramp to the Park takes approximately 2 hours of leisurely paddling, so figure on about a 5 hour day including lunch and round trip paddle, longer perhaps for those who chose to paddle the St. Johns a bit.   Depending on weather, this should be a moderate paddle overall….easy at first, then maybe a bit choppier but not too bad.  Come on…join us for a nice relaxing day paddling local waterways.  Leader:  Karen Montgomery 904-563-5155. Please call if you have question or change your status.

Sat 6/15 Sapelo Island Hiking – Details to follow soon

Sat 6/22, UNF Osprey Challenge – Details to follow soon

Sun 6/30 Trap/Skeet Shooting – Details to follow soon

Additional information about these activities and events may be announced at monthly meetings and on our YahooGroups and Meetup email lists.

2013 Monthly Meeting Schedule.  Locations Will Be Announced.
MONTHLY MEETINGS are always on the first non-holiday Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
and the location may vary.  Subscribers to our Meetup.com group receive an automatic reminder message in their email two days before the meeting.

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, June 5, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, August 7, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, September 4, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, October 2, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, November 6, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2013 – 6:30 PM

The Sidetrackers Newsletter
Our newsletter is maintained by Chris who can be reached by email at newsletter 'at' sidetrackers.com.
If you have any comments about the newsletter, or if you have material to submit for inclusion in the
next monthly newsletter, please send email to newsletter 'at' sidetrackers.com.

To Become a Sidetrackers Member
Members pay a small annual fee to help share the annual cost of maintaining this web site and the small costs of running the club.  Members are not required to submit a Guest Waiver Form at each Sidetrackers trip, activity or event.  Membership applications are accepted throughout the year.  Please visit our Membership page, or send questions and comments to membership 'at' sidetrackers.com.

The Sidetrackers Web Site

Our web site is maintained by Frank who can be reached by email at webmaster 'at' sidetrackers.com.  Please contact Frank if you have any corrections, photos, or other items of interest from any current activities. We will be pleased to consider your suggestions concerning the web site content.

In Case You Were Wondering...
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