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February 2014 / March 2014 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 2/1, 8:15am, The 28th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Gainesville, FL. Come join us for a full day of fun and entertainment at the Alachua County Fairgrounds for the 28th annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. We will meet at 8:15 am at McDonald's located on I-10 and Chafee Rd. We are leaving for the 70 minute drive at 8:45 a.m. sharp.  Please try to arrange carpooling prior to the event.  Come be swept away by medieval magic as troupes of actors, street performers and musicians journey back to the days of yore. Revel in the sights and sounds of one of North Central Florida’s premier events. 
Faire hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and the admission fee is $15 for adults. Tickets can be purchased on line for a slight processing fee or at the event. Yes, they do honor most major credit cards. Event Leader: Sue M.
215.939.8534. For more information about tickets, entertainment or food options, click http://Gvlculturalaffairs.org.

Wed 2/5, 6:30pm Monthly Members Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat-Sun 2/8-9, Rainbow River Cruise and Crystal River Manatee Snorkel: Come join us for a fun filled weekend swimming with the manatees. We will leave Saturday morning and eat lunch in Dunnellon just prior to taking a pontoon boat cruise on the Withlacoochee River. We’ll have a group dinner and breakfast in one of the cabins the next morning. It’s a short drive up to Crystal River where we’ll jump on a pontoon boat to explore the river and snorkel with the manatees. We have two cabins at the Rainbow Rivers Club, a beautiful 55-acre property surrounded on three sides by the Rainbow and Withlacoochee Rivers. There is a beautiful clubhouse, an outdoor swimming pool, paddle boats and jon boats- all available for your use at no extra cost when a guest at the facility. Each cabin sleeps five with one double, two single beds and a futon. The combined cost for the cabin and pontoon boat for the first day is $40 per person.   Payment is due when your reservations are made. There is no cancellation but you may find a replacement for your spot. The Rainbow River Cabins can be found by calling (352) 489-9983. You can also use the internet for a current webpage. Be sure to catch all three pages of pictures.

The Marina side is located at 20510 the Granada, Dunnellon, Fl 34432 off CR484 where the pontoon boats are located. The Preserve side is located 2 miles from the Marina side at 12450 San Jose Blvd., Dunnellon, FL 34432 off CR484 where the Cabins are located. We will drive up to Crystal River on Sunday and rent a pontoon boat – the shared cost is only $15.00 if all ten people participate. Snorkel gear is separate and can be rented at the facility. The Port Hotel & Marina 1610 SE Paradise Cir, Crystal River, FL (352) 795-3111 We will meet at the McDonalds on I-10 and Chaffee Rd. at 8:00 on Feb. 8th for the 2:15 drive, and leave no later than 8:30 Saturday morning. Please do not be late. Leader and Contact: Dan Woolf (904) 412-4821, Email:  dpwwoolf@gmail.com  Recap on cost: $40 per person for the cabin and Saturday’s pontoon boat and $15 for Sunday’s pontoon boat if ten people chose to participate.

Sat 2/15, 9:00am, Hiking at Crooked River State Park, Saint Marys, GA: Come join us for a fun filled day of hiking in Saint Marys, GA. We will meet at 9:00am at McDonalds off I-95, Exit 363A for Airport and River City Market Place. Take the east exit and stay on the road for mile. Go past the entrance to mall and you will see McDonalds on the left (north). If you would like breakfast, please arrive earlier.

The hike is less than an hour from Jacksonville, in St. Marys, Georgia. The event is located on the southern tip of Georgia’s Colonial Coast; this park is the perfect spot for enjoying the Intracoastal Waterway and maritime forest.  The hiking trails are manicured and have palmettos and Spanish moss-draped oaks, while cottages are set near the tidal river.  Just down the road is the ferry to famous Cumberland Island National Seashore known for secluded beaches and wild horses. The park’s nature trail winds through forest and salt marsh, and hikers may see gopher tortoises, fiddler crabs, herons and other birds.  A nature center features fish, snakes, turtles and other animals native to coastal Georgia. Visitors may venture to the nearby ruins of a tabby mill, built around 1825 and later used as a starch factory during the Civil War.  Entrance into the park is $5.00. For additional information, please see the website: http://GeorgiaStateParks.org/CrookedRiver. Bring water, rain gear, snacks and comfortable shoes.  Leader Julie, cell 904.424.1548.  As a courtesy, please call Julie if your plans change if you are unable to attend. We will grab a bite to eat in the area after the hike.

Sun 2/16, 10:00am, Battle of Olustee Re-enactment: We will meet at McDonalds at 705 Chaffee Rd. S (off I-10) at 10:00am. The battlefield is just hour away on I-10. The re-enactment takes place at 1:30pm but there is a lot to see at the festival which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the battle. Food and beverage vendors should be at the scene for lunch. A brief history of the battle: The Battle of Olustee, February 20, 1864. In February 1864, the commander of the Department of the South, Maj. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, launched an expedition into Florida to secure Union enclaves, sever Rebel supply routes, and recruit black soldiers. Brig. Gen. Truman Seymour moved deep into the state, occupying, destroying, and liberating, meeting little resistance. On February 20, he approached Brig. Gen. Joseph Finnegan’s 5,000 Confederates entrenched near Olustee.  One infantry brigade pushed out to meet Seymour’s advance units.  The Union forces attacked but were repulsed. The battle raged, and as Finnegan committed the last of his reserves, the Union line broke and began to retreat. Finnegan did not exploit the retreat, allowing most of the fleeing Union forces to reach Jacksonville. Additional information at:  http://ww.battleofolustee.org/battle.html.  We can decide if we want to have dinner back in town after the re-enactment.  Leader: Tim Scott, cell: 904-705-3335. As a courtesy, please call Tim if your plans should change and you are unable to attend.

Sat 02/22, 8:00am, Princess Place Preserve Camping and Matanzas River Paddling in Palm Coast, FL:  We plan on meeting at the McDonalds on Old St Augustine and I-95. This is located by Kohl’s near Bartram Springs. They allow four tents per site. However, there is no limit to the amount of bodies per site. I hope everyone will come down and explore the areas waters with us and cook some good food with our famous pot luck meals. Of course, day guests are welcome as well too. Bring typical camping and paddle equipment. A word of caution! The oyster beds are very sharp. Everyone entering the water is urged to wear heavy duty shoes, aqua shoes or old sneakers. The camping fee for the weekend is $20.00 per tent. Kayaks will be available to rent. Just let me know if you are interested and I will call for rental prices. Menus will be discussed closer to the departure date. For more information on this area, check out: http://www.flaglercounty.org/facilities.aspx?page=detail&RID=18 .

Camping Location:  2500 Princess Place Road, Palm Coast, FL  32137; the drive is 48 miles and will take approximately one hour from McDonald’s Any questions, call Sue M. at: 215-939-8523

Sat 3/1/14, 10:00am, Photo Scavenger Hunt at Jacksonville Arboretum: We will meet 10:00 am at the Jacksonville Arboretum parking lot, 1445 Millcoe Road, Jacksonville, (just off Monument Rd.) There is a limit of 31 (one leader, 30 team members) participants at this event. This event is a competition among teams. The group will be divided into 5 teams of 6. The event leader has taken photos of objects (natural and man-made) along the lovely, winding trails of the arboretum. Each team should assign a leader who has walked the arboretum before (a route map will be issued) and one photographer (cell phones are fine) to match each of the photos the event leader has taken. Each team will be provided sheets of these photos. All the members of the team will be the spotters. The team which collects/matches the most photos correctly and arrives back at the parking lot first will win the team prize which is being donated by the event leader. (In the case of a tie at the finish, the team with the most correct matches wins.) We can decide where we might like to go to lunch after the hunt. Because of the use of cameras, this event will not be held in the rain – Rain date will be Sun., 3/2/14 at 10:00am. NOTE: This is likely to be a popular event which is limited to 31 people, and we want to have the same number of people on each team. As a result, if you sign up and it looks like you can’t attend, please give several days’ notice on Meetup.com so that people who are on the wait list can join. Leader: Tim Scott, cell # 904-705-3335.

Wed 3/5, 6:30pm, Monthly Members and Planning Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sat 3/22, 9:00am Mountain Biking at Hanna Park: Come join us for a fun day at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, 500 Wonderwood Drive, Jacksonville. Meet between 9:00 - 9:15 am at the parking lot just inside the entrance. Intermediate ride on the off road trails begins at 9:30 am. Bring sunscreen, bug spray and plenty of water for the ride.  Helmets are required. Ride at own risk. Link to Hanna Park Trails MapLeader: Steve D. 561.602.8613 ste_dor 'at' bellsouth.net

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

2014 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, 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.

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