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April 2015 / May 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.  Non-members and their guests must fill out a liability waiver form, available here, before participating in any Sidetrackers event or activity.  Please note that Meetup group membership alone is not the same as Sidetrackers club membership.  For more information please visit our Membership page.

Additional information about our activities and events may be announced at monthly meetings, on our Meetup.com site, and by Meetup.com email messages.  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.


Wed 4/1, 6:30pm, Monthly Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256    

Wed 4/8, 6:45pm, Urban Hike, Wonderwood/Timucan Trail, Jacksonville:  It's time for a 6 mile, hump day urban hike. We plan on meeting at the B-BQ Barn, 14025 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Jacksonville 32225 at 6:45.We will be leaving promptly at 7:00 pm. Please bring typical hiking items, water, bug spray and a flashlight/head lamp. Yes, it might be dark when we complete our hike.

If you are not a dues paying Sidetrackers Member, you will need to print out the Sidetrackers Release Waiver and bring it, fully completed, to the leader, Victor Corrales. If you are lost, running late or will not be able to attend, it is imperative to text Victor at 904 517 2321. Be advised that "No Shows" will be documented. Hiking details to follow on Meetup.com.

Fri 4/10, 6:45pm, Walk the Vilano Bridge: Here is a challenging walk in the Vilano/St. Augustine area. We will park at Publix at the corner of A1A and Coastal Hwy at the (east) base of bridge.  We will head west over the bridge towards the carousel and back. After our vigorous walk, we will get a bite to eat at a restaurant nearby in Vilano. Please call or text if you cancel or are running late. Leader: Victor, 904-517-2321.  

Sat 4/11, 9:15am, Kayak the Santa Fe River:  We will meet at 9:30am at the McDonalds on I-10 and Chaffee Road.  We expect to arrive at the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost at approximately 11:00am. The address is 21410 NW Highway 441, High Springs Florida, (386)454-2050. The trip is very scenic and we will pass 3 springs along the way as well as visit with Naked Ed, the famous “Man in a Thong” who lives in a hut along the springs. We plan on stopping along the white beaches for lunch. This is a beautiful trip and a fairly easy paddle. If you are new to kayaking or canoeing, this is a good trip to try for the first time. Cost: Kayak rentals are $35 per kayak.  This includes the transportation, parking, loading, and unloading of the boats. If you bring your own kayak, there is a $20 fee to transport you and your boat back to the parking lot.  You are responsible for arranging rental of your boat if you want a specific type.  Otherwise, you can take the chance of getting whatever is available upon arrival.  Bring lunch, snacks, sunscreen and water and other typical kayaking equipment. Leader Julie H. cell 904-424-1548.

Wed 4/15, 6:45pm, Riverside and The Landing Walk:  Come out for a 6 to 7 mile walk thru Riverside and The Landing area. We will meet at Riverside Park, 753 Park St. Jacksonville, FL 32204. Riverside Park is on the corner of Park and Post. There is parking around Park and across the street at M Shack Restaurant on corner of Post and Margaret St. Those folks who are non members, meaning you have not paid the $15 yearly Sidetrackers membership fee, must sign a liability waiver which can be downloaded from http://www.sidetrackers.com /current newsletter /available here.  These walks are fairly brisk and fast, so dress accordingly and wear good walking shoes and bring water if you need it. Any questions txt or call me 904-517-2321. Vic.  For more park information: http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/riverside-park.aspx.

Sat 4/18, 9:00am, Peters Creek Paddle, Green Cove Springs: Meeting at Mc Donald's across from the dog track on Park Street in Orange Park at 9:00 A.M. Otherwise, we will meet you at the boat launch at 9:45 am.   This is a good one for a beginning paddler or someone who just wants to take in the beauty of Florida. It is approximately a 2 hour paddle depending on the tide. Rental kayaks are not available. Places  like our REI rent kayaks and will even help you put them on your car. Bring a lunch or snack and plenty of water. Launch time is 10:00 am. That means in the water and leaving shore. Peters Creek is at Camp Chowenwaw Park, an old Girl Scout camp.  It is located at the mouth of Black Creek.  Peters Creek provides a habitat for many water birds. The aquatic vegetation provides foraging areas for the St. Johns River manatee population as well as an ideal habitat for many fish species. Bald eagles, river otters, white tailed deer, turkeys, alligators, foxes, raccoons, migrating songbirds, as well as frogs, lizards, snakes, and turtles are just a few of the creatures you might see while visiting Camp Chowenwaw Park. Camp Chowenwaw, park phone number: (904) 529-8058  http://parks.claycountygov.com/ The Historic Girl Scout Museum will be open that Saturday, 9 am to 11 am. Do not use a GPS or MapQuest to find the address. It is wrong. Go through Orange Park over 3 bridges to Black Creek. From the top of the bridge you can see the Girls scout camp on the right. Look for the small brown sign, “Camp Chowenwaw” at the base of the bridge. Take a right down a dirt road until it dead ends. The Ranger Station will be to the left and the launch area will be to the right. Drive a short distance to a recreational Log Cabin and parking area with bathrooms.  If you pass the swimming pool you have gone too far. We will launch our boats behind the Log Cabin. Your Hosts are Vicky A. 904-923-2335 and Sue R. 904-349-3619. Located: 1517 Ball Road, Green Cove Springs, FL , (904) 529-8058.()

Sat 4/25, 11:00am, Day Cruise #2 aboard “Mosey” docked at Beach Marina:  Come join Master Capt. Ken Chumley for a relaxing day cruise aboard his beautiful ship, “Mosey". It’s his little boat that he calls “home”.  Capt. Ken plans to head south down the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) for about 2 hours and drop the hook at one of my favorite anchorages - Pine Island.  This is a remote area with virtually nothing man-made in sight and provides a great view of the water and surrounding savannah-type grasses.  He will be researching local authors and hopes to turn the outing into a book review as we all gather on the bow to relax.  After a leisurely 3 hours or so swinging on the hook, he will weigh anchor and enjoy a 2 hour cruise back to the marina.  Hopefully Billy's Boat House or Nippers will have live music that evening for those wanting to hang around.  Please bring something to share with the group for lunch and whatever you would like to drink.  This event has no charge, so grab your soft sole shoes or flip-flops and come join in for a relaxing day on the water! Meet at: Beach Marine, 2315 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach, 11:00am to dusk. SIDETRACKERS MEMBERS ONLY! Leader: Ken Chumley. Contact Ken via Meetup.com/Sidetrackers.

Sun 4/26, 9:30am, Bike the Amelia Island Trail:  Come join us for this spring time morning ride. The "Amelia Island Trail" is a beautiful live oak tree canopied paved trail that was completed in 2013. Approximately 6.2 miles on the southern part of Amelia Island. This ride is open to all types of bikes. We will start our ride from Peters Point Beach Front Park, 1974 S Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Peters Point is a public beach access area. It has a large parking lot with covered picnic areas, bathhouse, and bathrooms. The plan Is to make a loop south along the "Amelia Island Trail" to Amelia Island State Park. From there we will cross on to the beach and enjoy an ocean side ride for our return to Peters Point. For those who don't have the bikes capable of riding on the beach, or just more interested in taking the path for the entire ride, Mo Fields will lead a path only group. If the winds are blowing south strong enough the beach riders may start the loop heading south on the beach and then return along the paved path. In either case we should have plenty of beach to ride on. Low tide is at approximately 9:30 AM. Total ride should be 12+ miles. After our ride is complete lets enjoy an ocean side picnic and maybe a swim or just relax on the beach. Remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and possibly bug repellent. For those who want to meet to car pool or follow along caravan style, let's meet behind the Hardee's, east of I 295 at 9111 Merrill Rd and leave by 8:30 am. We will be taking Heckscher Drive. For those who have never driven this way to Amelia Island, it is one of the most scenic around. The drive-time from the Hardee's to Peters Point will be about 45 to 50 minutes. Cliff 904-334-7631 and Maureen F.  904 705-3377. For more information see: http://ameliaislandtrail.org/maps.html

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

Sat 5/16, 8:00am, Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit in Gainesville: Come join us for a lovely day in Gainesville. Tour the beautiful Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. The exhibit is a four-story, outdoor screened enclosure with waterfalls, a walking trail and hundreds of live butterflies“. Cost for the butterfly exhibit: $10.50 for non-residents or $9 for seniors (62+) and FL residents. If you have AAA and bring your card or use mine, you should save about four dollars. We’ll go to lunch afterward at the Ale House. Wear comfortable shoes, bring $$$ for lunch and your bright smile. For those of you that would like to meet to carpool, I plan to meet behind the McDonald’s on Old St Augustine Rd. and 295 in Mandarin. Please arrive by 7:45 AM. We will be departing for Gainesville by 8:00 AM.  There is a lot of parking in this area and there will be no problem leaving our cars there.  Please be sure to eat breakfast. We will be having lunch around 1:00 pm. Directions from Jacksonville: Take I-10 west to US 301 South (exit 343) towards Starke staying on 301 to Waldo - 37.6 miles. From Waldo veer right (Gainesville sign) and drive 10 miles southwest on SR 24 (becomes Waldo Road in Gainesville) to the junction of SR 222/NE 39th Avenue. Turn west (right) onto SR 222/NE 39th Avenue. Cross over Main Street and then US 441/NW 13th Street. Continue to NW 34th Street. Turn south (left) and travel 3.5 miles to the traffic signal at Hull Road. Turn east (left) onto Hull Road. The entrance to the University of Florida Cultural Plaza is on the south (right) side of Hull Road. Your host is Sue R. (904)349-3619 Link to the museum website:  http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu  We will meet at the front entrance to the museum.

Fri-Sun, 5/22-24, 10:00am, Florida Folk Festival - Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs, FL:  The Florida Folk Festival is a three day event; YOU CAN COME FOR ONE DAY OR ALLTHREE.  Some of us are staying for the three days.  If you choose to do the same, you will have to make your own lodging reservations.  You will want to bring a chair and/or a blanket, hat, rain gear, suntan lotion, and a cooler for food and drink (no alcohol) if you want your own instead of the great food offered by vendors.  There is a beer garden.  I usually take a cooler to save money. Now, what is the festival about?  "Somewhere between the Seminole fry bread, African crafts, Appalachian folk music and Cuban dance, you'll discover that the state of Florida enjoys one of America's most diverse cultural landscapes.  And the Florida Folk Festival celebrates it all.  Over 300 singers, dancers and storytellers will entertain on 15 stages, and numerous artists, crafters and cooks will share their talents."  You can choose the amount of exercise you get.  You can sit for hours listening to music at one stage or you may wonder back and forth across the park listening to performers at various stages (in doing that you will not lack for exercise.)  Usually the day is hot and you will be tempted to buy some of the best homemade ice cream you have ever tasted. For one day, the festival is $25 in advance and $30 at the gate; and, if you want to buy tickets for the three days it is $50 advance and $60 at the gate.  I will order the tickets for you if you bring the cash to the Sidetrackers meeting on May 6.  I can be contacted for questions via a message through Meetup.com.  You may also order your own ticket by calling:  1-877-635-3655. For further information, check out: http://www.floridafolkfestival.com.  White Springs where the Festival is located 67 miles from Jacksonville.  Take I-10 to Exit 301, U.S. 41 to reach White Springs.  Each day I will have a balloon attached to my chair in front of the Amphitheater which will be the gathering site when not at different venues.  Also, if you are not a paid member of Sidetrackers, please bring a completed Form-Guest Waiver, as I will not have any for your use.   

Sat  5/30, 9:15 am, Nature hike on Little Talbot Island:  This is the Saturday one week after the Memorial Day weekend so hopefully everyone will be back in Jacksonville and looking for a relaxing and pleasant four mile nature hike.  You will be able to get acquainted with many new friends attending this event while catching up with various old friends. We will experience a cross-section of ecosystems on the Little Talbot Island State Park. This includes maritime hammock, beach dunes, depression marsh, and a stroll on the beautiful white sandy beaches of the island. It will be nearing low tide when we get to the beach portion, so there will be a good opportunity to view wildlife and locate shells or sharks teeth. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, and a bright friendly smile. Cost: Entry fee of approx. $5 per vehicle onto the island, plus going out for lunch if you desire. Please note, this Sidetrackers event is strictly a nature hike on the wonderful trail and beach of Little Talbot Island. It does not include swimming in the ocean. In the event one or more wish to divert from the hike  and elect to go swimming, then the Sidetrackers activity for those people will end at that time and you will be on your own. The tides and undertow of the ocean can be dangerous and you should exert all caution if you divert from the hike and elect to go swimming on the island.  We will meet in the large parking lot behind the Hardee’s at 9111 Merrill Rd. at 9:15 AM (come earlier if you plan to eat breakfast and to get a head start in arranging car-pools). Take 295/9A North or Southside Blvd Connector North and exit to the right at Merrill Rd. Proceed east and Hardee’s is immediately on your left. We will get everyone signed in promptly and we will depart Hardee’s sharply at 9:30 AM for the approximately 20 miles to Little Talbot Island State Park off of Heckscher Blvd. If you live in north Jax or Ga. then suggest you meet us at the Little Talbott Island parking lot at approx. 10:00 AM near the bathrooms and shelters.   For those interested after the event, some of the attendees will probably get lunch at the nearby Sand Dollar Restaurant that has good food and a wonderful water view. Please ensure everyone you carpool with have similar plans for lunch. Leader (Mr.) Kim L. (cell 904-610-5029)

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

Sat-Sun 6/6-6/7, 9:00am, Wekiwa Springs Horseback Riding, Kayaking, Camping in Apopka, FL:  We will meet at 8:30 am at the McDonalds on 13939 Old St Augustine Road, Jacksonville, FL 32258 just off Interstate 95 south of I-295. We leave at 9:00 for a 2 hour drive to Apopka. The horseback riding will be Saturday morning probably around noon. Horseback riding is thru Rock Springs Run trail rides, http://www.rockspringsruntrailrides.com. Group rates of 8 riders or more is $40/hr, $45/90 minutes or $55 for 2 hours. I believe 90 minutes would be a good ride taking in mind the weather which could be hot and any riders with very little experience. For those folks staying overnight to kayak Sunday morning, I will reserve 2 campsites at Wekiwa Springs State Park. For those wishing for more comfortable accommodations, there is Comfort Inn Suites 20 minutes at 590 Ava Court, Sanford, FL 32771. 407-585-1580. Rooms with 2 Queen beds and sleeper sofa are going for appx. $130/night and campsites are $27 a night. If you need to rent a kayak or canoe go to: http://www.canoewekiva.com/adventureoptions.html   com or call 1-407 884-4311. Canoe and kayak are $17 for 2 hrs. Each additional hour is $3/hr, so plan on 4hrs of paddling on Sunday. If you just want to kayak on Sunday, plan on being at the park by 10:30 am at Wekiwa Springs State Park, 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL 32712, 407-884-2008. For those bringing your own kayak/canoe make sure you bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, proper clothing for being on the water, plus your required safety  gear, i.e. life jacket, whistle, etc.  For more details about the State Park, see: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Wekiwa-Springs

Sat 6/13, 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 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 7/1, 6:30pm, Monthly Meeting and Planning Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256      

Sat  7/4, Annual Fourth of July Picnic at Hanna Park:   Sidetrackers  Members  Only.

10/30-11/2, Fri-Mon, Table Rock State Park, South Carolina:  This year our annual fall trip will be to Table Rock State Park in South Carolina. We will be departing on Friday, Oct 30th and returning late afternoon/early evening, Monday, Nov 2, 2015. It’s a six hour drive so it’s best to be departing by 6:00 a.m.  On Monday, we plan on leaving around noon. This trip is open to 2015 confirmed SIDETRACKERS MEMBERS ONLY!  If you respond to a RSVP in Meetup.com, but are not a SIDETRACKERS member, you will be removed from the list. If you are on the RSVP list it will be your responsibility to provide payment to Victor Corrales or Kathy Donato. The cost is $80.00 if you are staying in the cabins. You can find Victor and/or Kathy at an event or at the April 1st members meeting. The other option is by mail. Send a check, payable to: Victor Corrales, 1321 Gatell  Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225. Payment is to be received by April 15. We have a long list of Members trying to go on this event. If you are unable to participate, please change your status on Meetup.com. This will allow the next person on the waiting to join in on the trip. If you pay and need to cancel, we'll refund your money as long as someone takes your spot and it's not 2 weeks before we leave on trip. Some of the activities will be:  hiking, kayaking and other fun things.  The kayaking is available in Table Rock,  but we're considering a kayak trip with an outfitter, 30 minutes north in North Carolina on the French Broad river; Class I, and I I Rapids near Roscoe, Nc. There will be a group discount for 8 or more folks; $30 / person for 3hours.  There is also hiking trails in and near state park, most are 1 to 4 miles, easy  to moderate, as well as 2 very severe strenuous long hikes on Pinnacle Mt trail 6 miles, 26 ft elevation gain and Table Rock trail 4 miles, 2433 elevation gain.   The accommodations are 2 cabins: 1 for 6 folks and 1 cabin for 8 folks.  The cabins have wi-fi, linens, cooking equipment, sleeping accommodations for 1 cabin are 2 bedrooms with 2 full beds and sleeper sofa.  1 cabin has 2 sets of bunk beds, sleeper sofa and 1 full bed.  We will plan meals and transportation as we get closer to trip date and plan on a great Italian pasta night by Chef Tom and 1st line cook Vic . As soon as well have everyone paid up, some folks might consider renting a minivan. I have one reserved with a full load. If you're interested in getting a minivan and driving let me know so we can compile a list of how can drive or participate in renting a van. For any other questions call or txt me 904-5172321 Vic.   Additional park information: http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/tablerock

Non-members and their guests must fill out a liability waiver form, available here, before participating in any Sidetrackers event or activity.  Please note that Meetup group membership alone is not the same as Sidetrackers club membership.  For more information please visit our Membership page.

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, 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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