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September 2013 / October 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.


Fri-Sun 9/6 – 9/8, 6:00pm Kayaking and Scalloping On the Steinhatcee River:  Good news. Even though July has been booked solid at this point, we were fortunate to learn that two boats became available. What’s even better is that Mike and Susan, who last year showed us such gracious hospitality, are offering lodging in their home on the river and in a new house they recently purchased located just down the street. Snorkeling for scallops is fun and easy. You hardly need to dip your head below water to pick them up from the grass in 4’ to 5’ of water. After cleaning them when we get back, the five gallon limit is usually enough for a good meal. One of the local restaurants will cook them for us. They don’t get any fresher than that. Bring your own kayak or rent one for the trip down the Steinhatchee River.

Check out www.steinhatchee.com for general information about the area, scalloping, pictures, videos and a river cam. If you use “Paypal” send as to a friend or mail a check for $85.00 to Steve or Victor.. Payment is due within one week after your reservation is made. If you need to cancel, please do so as soon as possible in order to allow others the opportunity to go. Total cost is about $137.00 plus your food, drink and gas.

We will leave McDonalds at 454 Cassett Ave. 32205 at 6:15 for the 2:30 drive to Steinhatchee and stop in Live Oak for dinner at a great Bar-B-Q place.

Payment must be received by 9/1 or you will be removed from the RSVP list.

Call Victor C, at 904-517-2321 for best way to get him the funds.

Sat 9/14, 9:30am Hike and Picnic at Washington Oaks Garden, Palm Coast, FL: We will meet at McDonalds at 9:30am - exit at I95 and Old St. Augustine Rd. (11230 Old St Augustine Rd, Jacksonville, Florida 32257). The Gardens are the centerpiece of Washington Oaks and contain a formal garden where many species of exotic plants grow along side of azaleas, camellias, roses and multiple reflecting ponds.   There is something growing and blooming at all times of the year.  After we view the “breath taking” gardens we will hike over 2 miles on shaded trails along the coastal maritime hammock and venture into a dense canopied coastal scrub and the tidal marsh along the Matanzas River.  We will picnic near the water.  Hot dogs, buns, paper plates, forks, napkins and charcoal will be provided by your leader.   Please bring a side dish to share with everyone. Suggestions: condiments, potato salad, fruit, desserts, chips/dip, drinks and more!  Side dishes do not have to be homemade. Grocery stores make great sides. Please dress accordingly for weather and bring bug spray, water and something for the picnic. Leader: Julie H. 904-424-1548.  Directions and maps will be distributed at McDonalds.  Carpooling can be arranged at McDonalds, or you may want to arrange ahead.

Washington Oaks State Park is located at: 6400 N Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast, FL 32137. http://www.washingtonoaks.org/  The drive is approximately 45 minutes due south on I95 from McDonalds.

Sat 9/21, 10:00am, Paddle to Jacksonville Zoo:  We will meet at Maxwell's Boat Ramp, located under I-95 and paddle to the zoo. Once we secure our kayaks to the floating dock, we will enter the zoo and enjoy the animals. There is no admission to the zoo when you enter from dockside. You have an option of bringing a lunch or buying lunch at the snack bar. When all is seen and fed, we will paddle back to I-95 around 2 pm.The boat ramp is: Burt Maxwell Boat Ramp, 500 Maxwell Rd., Jacksonville, FL  32218.http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/bert-maxwell-boat-ramp.aspx

Sat 9/28, 8:00am, Hike at Kanapaha Gardens: Known as the Best of Attractions of Gainesville Florida is a perfect way to spend a day. Come join Shana Herrin and Sue Rorer on a walk-through of these Botanical Gardens, which are comprised of 24 major collections visually accessible from a 1 mile paved walkway. These include the state's largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast. Some of Kanapaha's gardens are organized taxonomically; others demonstrate principles of ecology or natural selection. Kanapaha's signature plants include a premier stand of Chinese royal bamboo (Wong Chuk), and--during the warm months--giant Victoria water lilies and Asian snake arums.   We will meet Saturday morning at 8:00 am at the Steak ‘n Shake at 10661 San Jose Boulevard just off I-295.  It is approximately 1 hour & 45 minute drive to Gainesville. It is $7 plus tax per person for admission – if we want a Guided Tour we need to have at least 10 people minimum attend.  Afterwards we can go to get something to eat at a nearby restaurant before heading back to Jacksonville.  The Group Leader: Sue R. 904 349-3619.   http://www.kanapaha.org

Wed 10/2, 6:30pm, Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Fri-Mon 10/4-7, Cheaha State Park, Anniston, Alabama: Camping/Hiking/Change of Seasons Trip:

This is a SIDETRACKERS MEMBERS ONLY trip.  Due to advance soliciting, this trip is full.

This was needed in order to ensure cabins and guarantee reservations.  An e-mail was sent to all current/paid members a few months ago.  Should any slots open up, please feel free to get on the waiting list. We will meet at McDonalds, 705 Chaffee Rd. S, (off I-10) Exit 351, 32221 at 7:00am, Friday, Oct.4th.   Car pooling is available, but will take advance planning. 

The trip consists of the following:

Camping (Chalets and Tent)

Several members have reserved the Cabins/Chalets.   Each cabin sleeps 5 people.  We have (1) camp site for those who are camping.  Money must be collected by the September Sidetrackers meeting for those already confirmed.  If monies are not collected, those on the waiting list will get first consideration. 

Lodge at State Park

For those members who would like to attend and are not confirmed for a cabin or camping, you can contact the Lodge and get a room, if rooms are still available.   Call (256)488-5111 or (256)488-5115.  The reservation will be under your name, as Sidetrackers does not have any of these rooms blocked.


Cheaha State park is the pinnacle of “awe and natural beauty” and is at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and has the highest point in the State, at 2,407 feet.   The Indians called this the “Chaha”, meaning “high place.”  The trails are the Pinhoti Trail and the Chinnabee Silent trail where you will see some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area.  The hikes are steep and will require hiking boots.  The hiking will be moderate to difficult as we are in mountain terrain.

Miscellaneous Activities

There are Wineries, an Indian Museum, White Water Rafting, Waterfalls and we will be there for the Change of Seasons.  http://www.stateparks.com/cheaha_state_park_in_alabama.html

Bring sunscreen, plenty of water, food for grilling/cooking, snacks, camera /binoculars.   Leader Victor C, cell 904-517-2321.  As a courtesy, please call Victor if your plans change if you are unable to attend.  There are kitchens in the cabins and a restaurant in the Lodge, so plan accordingly. One way is approximately 420 miles and 7 hour drive.

Sat/Sun 10/12-13 OPEN WEEKEND.  Possible Arboretum Hike.  Details TBA.

Sat 10/19, 8:30am, UNF Osprey Challenge Course:  (Rescheduled from 7/27)  Participate in a four hour Basic Low Elements program consisting of games and icebreakers and a couple basic low initiatives designed on the premise of building group camaraderie and trust, and forming principals of success for leaders and team players. It is perfect for groups who are getting to know each other or just a fun day to bond with friends. Osprey Challenge Course Program Description.  Please review the UNF OCC-Participant-Guide, Osprey Challenge Course Waiver and the OCC-Health-Disclosure-Form formsCost is $35 payable in cash or with a check made payable to UNF Osprey Challenge Course.  Payment and completed Waiver and Health forms must be submitted to the Eco-Adventure staff at the event.

Meet at 8:30 am at the UNF Eco-Adventure Outfitters Center at parking lot 100 (which is on the right at the southeast corner of UNF Drive/North-South Road).  Limited parking is available in front of the Eco-Adventure office.  Additional parking is available across the street - north of the police department. Directions / Map.   Eat a healthy breakfast before attending the Challenge course. You will need all the ENERGY you can get!  Water will be provided all day. Please feel free to bring a refillable water bottle and/or hydrating sports drinks. *PLEASE NO SODA, ENERGY DRINKS, CARBONATED BEVERAGES, ETC.* Comfortable, loose fitting clothing is best.  Wear knee-length shorts, Capri style pants or long pants.  Must wear tennis shoes, boots or closed-toe equivalent and socks. Please check the weather on the day of your course, and prepare accordingly. Please wear sun blocking materials – sunscreen, sunglasses with croakies, hats etc. and bug spray.  All personal items that could potentially fall out of pockets (cell phones, wallets, car keys, pocket knives, etc.) will be collected and locked in the staff office.  No jewelry will be allowed on the course. Please leave it at home or in your car.  Event Host: Steve D.  ste_dor ‘at’ bellsouth.net, 561.602.8613

Fri-Sat, 10/25-26, Okefenokee Paddle, camping and hiking Trip, Folkston GA: Details to follow.  Dates not confirmed.

Wed 11/6, 6:30pm, Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat/Sun 11/16-17, Princess Preserve – Primitive Camping, Hiking, Biking and Kayaking in Palm Coast, FL. Details to follow.

Sat 11/23, Morris Star Hike, Gainesville, FL: Details to follow.

Wed 12/4, 6:30pm, Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat 12/7, Horseback Riding, Jacksonville: Details to follow.

Sat 12/28, Manatee Watching and Hiking at Salt Creek, FL: Details to follow.

Additional information about these activities and events may be announced at monthly meetings and on our Meetup.com/Sidetrackers trip reservation pages.

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, October 2, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, November 6, 2013 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, December 4, 2013 – 6:30 PM

Proposed 2014 Monthly Meeting Schedule.
WEDNESDAY, January 8, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, February 5, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, July 2, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, August 6, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, September 3, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, October 1, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, November 5, 2014 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, December 3, 2014 – 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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