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December 2014 / January 2015 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.


Tue 12/2, 6:00pm, Jacksonville Beach Evening Walk:  Come out for an evening hike of about 5 miles.  We will meet and start at the Jacksonville Lifeguard Center, next to Joe's Crab Shack. There is plenty of parking near Carrabba's or public beach parking along 1st Street going toward Mango's. This walk should take about 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete.  Afterwards, we'll stop at a nearby restaurant for a bite to eat.  Please change your RSVP to “No” if you're not going (even for last minute cancellations) so the group is not waiting for someone needlessly. Event leader: Victor Corrales 904-517-2321, call or text, corralesvictor6969 'at' gmail.com

Wed 12/3, 6:30 PM, Monthly Meeting and Planning Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256               

Fri 12/5, 6:30 pm, St. Augustine Art Walk and Christmas Lights: Come join us for a fun evening in beautiful downtown St. Augustine.  This is the monthly first Friday event where you stroll from gallery to gallery viewing art - the art varies so that there is always some for everyone's taste. During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with holiday magic - from the ground to the rooftops. Selected by National Geographic in 2011 & 2012 as one of the ten best holiday lighting displays in the world, St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights feature millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the Nation’s oldest city. It is the perfect way to officially start the Holiday Season. The walk is from 5 to 9; however, to accommodate most work schedules, we will meet at the entrance to the San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St. at 6:30 p.m. After the walk we may grab a bite to eat at a local eatery. Event Host: Kathy D. 908.433.5974. For more information regarding the monthly art walk and winery, see: http://www.staaa.org/  http://www.sansebastianwinery.com/

Wed 12/10, 6:15pm, Riverside to The Landing Evening Walk: Enjoy an evening walk from the Riverside to The Landing. We will meet at Riverside Park near the corner of Post and Margaret Road.  Riverside Park United Methodist Church is nearby and parking will be in this area or parallel parking adjacent to Riverside Park. If you go down Margaret St. to Park St., there is parking along side Riverside Park.  We will all congregate by the statue in front of Riverside Church.  The walk will be close to 5.4 miles to The Landing and back.  Afterwards we will have a bite to eat in the area.  This will be a warm-up to a longer walk of about 6.6 miles for a later date and hopefully a few walks at the beaches or Theodore Roosevelt Park.  Call or text leader Vic Corrales 904-517-2321 email corralesvictor6969 ’at’ gmail.com.

Fri 12/12, 7:30pm - 10:00pm, Zombie Hunt at Paintball Adventures: An outbreak of zombies has been reported near the airport in North Jacksonville! Join the Zombie Eradication Team at Paintball Adventures to contain the outbreak before it spreads to nearby areas in this live-action zombie hunt set in a post-apocalyptic town. This is an interactive shooting gallery featuring live (undead) zombies & reactive targets, static targets, lighting and sound effects.  This is a scare attraction so be ready for anything.  No paintballs are shot at you. Only the zombies are hit with paintballs that you shoot.  No contact with the zombies or other actors is allowed.  Shooting gallery time is about 15 minutes.  Hunters may shoot as much as they want, no time limit, but subject to lines.  All equipment is supplied. No outside gear or paintballs allowed.  Pass is good for same day use only.  Participate at your own risk. Cost is $12 ($25 value) for one admission with 100 paintballs or $22 ($50 value) for two admissions with 200 paintballs.  Purchase additional paint balls: $3 for 50 paintballs, $5 for 100 paintballs, and $20 for 500 paintballs. Monday 10-27-2014 is the last day you can buy the deal. PBAXSports is located inside the Pecan Park Flea & Farmers Market (614 Pecan Park Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32218; 904-645-7127).  Parking is free, follow lighted signs. Links for additional information: www.paintballadventures.com; www.pbaxsports.com; www.facebook.com/PBAJax; Brian Held mailto:brian@paintballadventures.com  Leader: Laura 904.349.3785.

Sun 12/14, 10:00am Cumberland Island Hike and/or Tour: Come out for a day of hiking or a state park tour of the island, Plum Orchard Mansion... Our meeting place will be Hardee's 675 Nautical Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32218, and Riverside Mall by I-95 near Jacksonville Intl Airport. We will meet at Hardees, please park your cars in the big parking lot across from Hardees as not to take up their customers parking for the day. All non-members please have waivers completed as to expedite our departure and check in to Historic Cumberland Island at St. Marys, Georgia. The reservations for ferry, , park fee or private Plum Orchard tour are made at these phone numbers, 912 882-4335 or 877-860-6787, call early, noon or around 3pm, it's $20 for ferry, $5 for park fee, $4 for camping and there is a private tour of whole island, Plum Orchard tour limited to 20 folks on a bus tour of the whole island but you would have to go on the 9 am ferry meaning be up and on the Road by 7:30 am plus this would be on your own unless I can get a member or board member to take charge of the private tour. If you're not doing the private tour, plan on hiking north toward Sea Camp then to Beach then south toward ruins. We will stop at place to be determined along the way to eat a packed light lunch, so don't forget to bring something to eat. The ferry leaves at 11:45 am arrives on island by 12:30 then leaves at 4:45 pm back to St. Marys.  Any questions, call, txt or email, especially those who plan to camp and have secured your camping spot corralesvictor6969 ‘at’ gmail.com, 904-517-2321 (Vic) for more information. Destination is 45-60 minute drive from Jacksonville.

Wed 12/17, 6:30pm, Sidetrackers Annual Christmas Party: Come join us in the covered patio at the Black Finn Restaurant, 4840 Big Island Dr. #05 (Town Center), to mix and mingle with friends. The Club will be providing appetizers. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased separately.  For more information on the location: http://blackfinnameripub.com/jacksonville.This Holiday Party is for dues paying members of SIDETRACKERS ONLY. Please RSVP by phone or email before Dec 11, to Kathy D. at 908.433.5974 or kathydrunner’at’yahoo.com. RSVPs are limited to 45.

Sun 12/21, 4:30pm, Avondale/Riverside Luminaria Walk- Members Only Event: Enjoy the Christmas Season in Jacksonville’s historic Avondale and Riverside neighborhoods for the annual Luminaria display. More than 36,000 luminaria line the streets. It’s a really festive atmosphere. We will have dinner at a location to be determined, near King Street across from the Riverside Baptist Church, then visit Riverside Baptist Church for caroling and a tour of this historic landmark. We will then walk through Riverside and enjoy the lights, music and live manger scenes. If you don't wish to eat with us, you may tour the church on your own and join us in front of the church at 6:30pm. Additional detail available in Meetup.com. Leader: Victor Corrales at 904-517-2321

Wed 1/7, 6:30pm, Monthly Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256        

Sun 1/11, 11:00am, Skeet Shooting at Amelia Island Shot Gun Sports:   Here's your opportunity to shoot things and destroy them, old-time Florida style. We'll be assembling at the Amelia Island Shot Gun Sports Club, 86300 Hot Shot Trl, Yulee, FL 32097, for a late morning skeet shoot. A "round" of skeet consists of 50 shots (rounds) at clay pigeons.  The course consists of 5 stations positioned along a mile semi-circle.   Think of it as “skeet golf.  The fine folks at Amelia Island Shot Gun Sports will supply everything we need for a safe and fun event. All you need bring is sunscreen, bug spray and a comfortable pair of sunglasses or safety glasses (eye protection is required). For those of you without eye protection, the club will have a few pair of safety glasses we can borrow. Based on a turnout of 20 Sidetrackers the cost is $45 per person, which includes gun rental and shells. If we have fewer members attend we'll adjust the per person cost upward pro-rata. The event should take about two hours so we should be good and hungry for lunch afterward. There are picnic tables at the club if you wish to pack a lunch.  http://www.ameliashotgunsports.com.  Car pooling is encouraged from your area of town.   Leader: Jim Nackley at 904-382-7734 cell.  ADDENDUM:   We're limiting this to 20 attendees.  However, we encourage you to join a waiting list if you want to go.   We can work with the Amelia Shot Gun Sports club to accommodate more people if we have more interested in attending.  

Sat 1/17, 8:00am, Hike at Bulow Creek State Park, Ormond Beach: Come join us for a full day of hiking in beautiful Bulow Creek. We will meet at McDonald’s off I-95 and Old St. Augustine Road (Bartram). We will meet at 8:00am and leave promptly at 8:30. If you want to eat, please arrive 15 minutes earlier. We will caravan down I-95 and exit at 278 for Old Dixie Highway.  Bulow Creek protects nearly 5,600 acres, more than 1,500 of which are submerged lands. The highlight of Bulow Creek is one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forest along Florida's east coast. The reigning tree is the Fairchild Oak, one of the largest live oak trees in the South. For more than 400 years it has been a silent witness to human activities along Bulow Creek, including the destruction of the neighboring Bulow Plantation during the Second Seminole War in 1836. Several trails allow hikers to explore the interior of the park, where visitors can see white-tailed deer, barred owls and raccoons. The Bulow Woods Trail, nearly seven miles long, takes hikers to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park. Visitors can picnic in a shady pavilion or at a table on the lawn within view of the Fairchild Oak. The hike will calls for proper footwear, water, sun screen, bug spray and comfortable attire.  When the hike is over, we will stop for lunch in the area.  http://www.floridastateparks.org/bulowcreek/   Ormond Beach is 73 miles from our departure location and the drive will take 75 minutes or so. 3351 Old Dixie Highway, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174 (386) 676-4050 Leader: Sue R.:  As a courtesy, please call   (904) 349 3619 or text Sue if your plans change or if you are running late.Close Please make car pooling arrangements, thru Meetup.com, before the day of the event. Sue R. will provide directions at McDonald’s.

Sat 1/24, 9:00am, 30th Annual Manatee Festival at Valentine Park in Orange City, FL:  Come join us for a fun filled day at the Manatee Festival in Volusia County. We will depart from the McDonald's on Old St. Augustine Road (near Kohl's) and I-95 at 9:00am sharp. It is a approximately 95 miles to our destination and will take us 1:45 to drive to Valentine Park, 1511 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763.  If you plan on eating breakfast, please arrive at 8:30am. We expect this to be a full day. If you need to be back in Jacksonville by a certain time, please drive your own car or carpool with someone with the same time restraints. The gates will open at 10:00am. Please bring cash for there is an $8.00 admission fee. All proceeds will fund scholarships and Blue Springs State Park. There will be food vendors plus a free shuttle to see the manatees at Blue Springs. This is a large art and crafts festival with music, dancing, sand sculpting, shows and rides. To learn more about the festival or the manatees, click onto: http://www.themanateefestival.com/event  or http://www.savethemanatee.com.  Any questions please call Sue M. at 215.939.8523.

Sat 1/31, 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 Chaffee 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 $17 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online for a slight processing fee or at the event. Yes, they do honor most major credit cards. Event Leader: Sue M. 215.939.8523. For more information:  http://www.gvlculturalaffairs.org/website/programs_events/HMF/medieval_index.html

Wed 2/4, 6:30pm, Monthly Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256        

Sat 2/21, 12:30pm, Betz-Tiger Point Preserve (Jacksonville) Picnic & Hike: Come join us for an afternoon picnic and hike in the Jacksonville area. We will meet at the Picnic Pavilion. Bring a bag lunch or snack to eat and socialize before the 3.4 mile hike.  At 1:00 we will hike the Yellow Trail.  Surrounded by salt water marsh, Betz-Tiger Point Preserve has over 525 acres of land. It is known for its remote quiet trails where wildlife is abundant. Due to the area being a nursery for juvenile shrimp, this is a feeding area for birds from the Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy White Egret to the endangered Wood Stork.  We should finish the hike in 1 - 2 hours. Dress and supplies recommendations: Long pants, closed toe shoes, bottled water, snack, bug spray and rain gear if the forecast predicts rain. Directions: 12100 Pumpkin Hill Road, Jacksonville, FL 32226. The preserve is easy to get to: Take Hecksher Drive to New Berlin Road, then take a right where it intersects with Cedar Point Road and then turn left on Pumpkin Hill Road. Pumpkin Hill Road will dead end into Betz-Tiger Point Preserve.   Carpooling; Meet at 12:00pm behind the Hardees on Merrill Road, one block east of I-295 Beltway. Leader: Vicki A.  If you have any questions, running late or unable to attend after the Meetup.com RSVP is closed, please text or call the Leader, Vicki A. at: 904 923-2335.   For more information and a view of the trail map, go to:  http://timucuantrailparksfoundation.org/Parks/betz-tiger-point-preserve.html and http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/docs/preservation-(1)/betz-tiger-point-trails-map.aspx

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

Sat 3/14, 10:00am, Biking on the Baldwin Trail, Jacksonville: We will meet in the parking lot at 10:00am. Just west of bustling downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail-Trail, one of north Florida's oldest, traverses a rural setting of hardwood uplands, wetlands and pine flatwoods. A dense tree canopy shelters much of the nearly 15-mile paved path, providing habitat for hawks, wood storks, stilts and belted kingfishers. You're also likely to encounter turkeys, alligators, rabbits, gopher tortoises and coral snakes. Beware the latter, a venomous species with wide black and red bands broken by narrow yellow rings! The Imeson Road trailhead, closest to Jacksonville, is a good place to start an out-and-back journey of 29 miles. To reach the Imeson Road trailhead from downtown Jacksonville, take I-10 west to Exit 356/I-295 North and head up I-295 to Exit 9/Commonwealth Avenue. Drive west on Commonwealth about 1 mile to Imeson and turn right. The marked trailhead is on the left. (This ride was originally scheduled for Winter Garden, FL but it was changed because of the 160 mile drive. This one is less than 10 miles!) We can decide where we might like to go to lunch after the ride. Leader: Tim Scott, cell # 904-705-3335.

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

2015 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, January 7, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, February 4, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, July 1, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, August 5, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, September 2, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, October 7, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2015 – 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, December 2, 2015 – 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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