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November 2015 / December 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 11/4, 6:30pm, Monthly Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256 

Sat 11/7 11:30am, Porchfest 2015 in Historic Springfield in downtown Jacksonville:  The second annual Jacksonville PorchFest, a music festival held on the welcoming front porches of Historic Springfield, will take place on Saturday, November 7, 2015, from 12 to 8. The family-friendly, free event will feature local musicians from a wide variety of genres. 

Afternoon entertainment will include more than twenty performers on assorted porches throughout the historic district. Attendees will stroll from porch to porch and “camp out” on front lawns and sidewalks as they enjoy live, local talent. This year the event will be in Springfield’s Southwest quadrant, in and around Klutho Park.  Maps of porches and performers will be provided on the day of the event.   Along the way, there will be a variety of food, drink, and arts vendors to round out your experience in Jacksonville’s oldest and original front porch neighborhood.  This year’s event will feature beautiful Klutho Park, and will conclude with an evening performance in the historic bandstand. 

We all meet at 11:30 AM at Klutho Park and walk from there. Bring a brown bag lunch in your backpack or sample the food trucks. This is a long day, so you might want to leave after a few of hours of music. Or, you might want to come later in the afternoon since the event is from 12-8 PM.  If you come later, you do not need to sign up for this event with Sidetrackers Meetup. The event is free and open to all. Read more about it-- http://jacksonvilleporchfest.org/. Leader is Maureen F. (Mo), cell: 904-705-3377.  As a courtesy, please call Mo if you are running late.   Limited to 30 peopleHere is a suggestion for parking: Near Klutho Park--- Henry J. Klutho Park. 635 3rd Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206

Sat 11/14, 8:45am, Scenic Hiking at Mike Roess Gold Head State Park in Keystone Heights:  Come join us for a wonderful hike in nearby Keystone Heights, FL. We will meet at Hardee’s in Middleburg. 2730 Blanding Blvd. From there it is about a 30 min. drive straight down Blanding to Gold Head. This is a Florida State Park, with 2,000 acres of rolling sand hills, marshes, ravines, lakes and scrub. Gold Head is one of the earliest state parks in Florida. We will begin on the Florida scenic trail that follows Gold Head Branch upstream along the shady ravine, and emerges in a sand hill area to circle around the eerie Devil’s Washbasin. This area has diverse wildlife. Among the wildlife found in the park are fox, squirrel, southeastern kestrel, red-tailed hawk, bald eagle, turkey, and gopher tortoise. The park also has pocket gopher, fox, white-tailed deer and variety of water and wading birds. There is a variety of wild flowers here as well. Among them are blazing star, goldenrod, and lopsided Indian grass. This is a 5-7 mile moderate hike. There are some somewhat steep places along the ravine, so you may want to bring a walking stick and wear supportive shoes. It would also be a good idea to bring bug spray, snacks, and water as well. There is a $5 fee for cars with up to 8 people and $4 for a single occupant. Locals in the area recommend McHenry’s Irish Sports Pub for lunch. For those who are interested in having lunch together, it is a short drive from the park. For more information, check out the website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Mike-Roess. Leader:  Cyndi F. 904-716-4783 cyndi.fitcher’at’gmail.com    

Sat-Sun 11/21-11/22, Hike Camp Branch Conservation Area and/or Paddle at Ichetucknee:  optional campout Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins, Sunday Ichetucknee /Santa Fe River kayak paddle.  On this event you can hike for the day, then camp overnight, then kayak on Sunday. If you wish to kayak only on Sunday come on out. Let's talk about the hike at Camp Branch Conservation Area, most of this is part of the Florida Trail. It is a beautiful but hilly hike to a disappearing creek then hike along the Suwannee river bank to some of the highest bluffs and plenty of ravines including Devils mountain,  one of the higher points in north Florida. This hike would be a moderate to hard 9 miles, so you will need hiking boots, walking stick, a day bag for water and snacks and bug spray,  so be prepared.  After the hike we will find a place to eat, then those folks that just came out for hike can go home while those camping and kayaking on Sunday will head down the road to Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins to camp out. Those folks kayaking on Sunday, the Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins is also our rental for kayaks or canoes.  This paddle will be on the Ichetucknee and Santa Fe River, a 4-5 hrs moderate paddle with the current. Since this event can actually be treated as 2 depending on what you would like to do, there will be 2 meeting times using the same location to meet. Event Leader Vic Corrales, 904-5172321 text me if possible.. We will meet at McDonalds on Chaffee road and Interstate 10 at 8:30am and be on road by 9am. For this hike, please meet at McDonald’s don't ask to meet us there because it's a hard place to find and because of the last mile and a half of a rough jeep road you may not want to drive a low profile car.  Camping is at Ichetucknee Family Canoe and Cabins at 8587 S.W. Elim Church Road, Fort White, FL, 32038, 1-386-497-2150. Tents are $18 a night with 2 tents and 4 folks per site. I will reserve 2 sites so contact me if you want the other tent site and for those wishing a cabin, small cabins for 4,5 or 6 folks are available for $45 -$55 a night. I greatly encourage those folks who have never camped, this would be a good place to try it out; you can come to me or other seasoned campers for tips. On Sunday Nov 22, for those just coming out for kayaking, again McDonald's Chaffee road and Interstate 10 at 8:30am and hopefully on road by 9am. I will need a member to step and take care of collecting waivers and directions to kayak place.  The kayak rental place is also the same place where we're camping.  The cost is $20 for kayak or canoe and for the folks that have their own kayak as long as some folks rent from them they will portage our kayaks for $ 5. If you're not sure you can solo paddle, tandem kayaks or canoes are the answer. After the paddle we'll either have a cookout at camp or go into High Springs for a sit down lunch. Come on out for this hike, camping and paddle or just one of the events. When sending the RSVP, please put on comment section what you intend to do so I know who's doing what event.  http://floridahikes.com/florida-trail/suwannee  http://www.ichetuckneecanoeandcabins.net/

Fri-Sun 11/27-29, 9:30am: Paddle and overnight on the Suwannee: Over three days, we are going to paddle approximately 36 miles from Stephen Foster State Park to Suwannee River State Park with overnight stays at Woods Ferry River Camp and Holton Creek River Camp on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. The SRWT is a system of hubs and river camps spaced a convenient day's travel apart, so that visitors can enjoy a lazy day trip or a multi-day adventure on the Suwannee. Each river camp features 5 screened sleeping platforms with electricity and ceiling fans, restrooms and hot showers and primitive camping sites for tents. Each sleeping platform accommodates 5-8 people. There is no public vehicle access to the river camps. They are reached only by water and they are free.  For more information: http://www.suwanneeadventures.com/river-camps.html. We will paddle 9 miles on Friday, 18 miles on Saturday (with a lunch stop at Spirit of Suwannee River Music Park) and 9 miles on Sunday, all downstream and fun places to stop. You will need to bring something to sleep on, sleeping bag and pad, your personal gear/clothes, food all to be packed in your boat and carried downstream. Kayak/canoe rentals are not being arranged for this trip.  Meet at McDonalds on Chaffee Road south of I-10 at 9:00 AM.

Wed 12/2, 6:30pm, Monthly Meeting: Regency Square Library, 9900 Regency Square Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Fri 12/4, 5:00 pm, St. Augustine Art Walk and Christmas Lights: Begin your holidays with 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 something new and for everyone's taste. National Geographic rates St. Augustine as one of the ten best holiday lighting locations in the world with two million tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere. The walk is from 5 to 9, and we will meet at the entrance to the San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St. at 5:00.  If you cannot be there at 5:00, call me at 6:00, and I will tell you where we are.  Event Host: Marta W., 904-635-7170.

Tue 12/8, Time TBD, Annual (Members Only) Christmas Party: BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, (Near intersection of JTB & Gate-by Costco) 4907 Gate Pkwy, Jacksonville 32246.

Sat 12/12, 9:45am, Guana Tolomato State Park Hiking Trail:  Come join us for a fun morning of hiking in Ponte Vedra. We will meet at 8:30am at the Jacksonville Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32256.  Not carpooling? We are meeting everyone at 9:45am, at the GUANA TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE parking lot, located at 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. 32082. Please use Google Maps for directions. Access to the trails is at the west end of the Guana River Dam. We plan on exploring 10 miles of hiking trails.  The rich variety of natural resources include 73,000 acres of freshwater marsh/wetlands, hardwoods/mixed forest, beaches and wildlife. Bring water, energy bar, a hat, bug spray and comfortable hiking boots or walking shoes. Bathrooms and water fountain are located at the beginning of the trail. Directions: From St. Augustine, drive east on SR A1A across the Vilano Beach Causeway. Bear left (north) to stay on SR A1A and go 7.7 mi. (go through Vilano Beach).  Directions: From Jacksonville, exit J.T.Butler Blvd./ Ponte Vedra, drive south on SR AIA 17 miles. Admission fee is: $3.00 per vehicle up to 8 people. Leader: Vicki A.  For additional information: http://myfwc.com/viewing/recreation/wmas/lead/guana-river/things-to-do/  and http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/gtm/

Sun, 12/21, Avondale’s Luminaria Parade and Christmas Walk: Details to follow.

* * *   L O C A T I O N   C H A N G E ,   F O R   T H I S   M E E T I N G   O N L Y   * * *
Wed 1/6/2016, 6:30pm - 7:30pm, Monthly Meeting with Guest Speaker, Membership Renewal, and our Monthly Meeting.  Black Creek Outfitters, Side Room, 10051 Skinner Lake Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32246 in the St. Johns Town Center area.

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, 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

2016 Monthly Meeting Schedule.
WEDNESDAY, January 6, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, February 3, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, April 6, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, August 3, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, September 7, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, October 5, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, November 2, 2016 - 6:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, December 7, 2016 - 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...
Email addresses are slightly obscured with 'at' instead of '@' in an attempt to foil automated spam robots.

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