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Hang Gliding, Camping and Hiking

Sat 2/23 -2/24 Hang Gliding, Camping and Hiking: This is the chance to take an introductory hang gliding flight at a greatly reduced price. Normally the fee is $175/each. However, the owner, Malcolm, has agreed to reduce the price to $120/ea for our group, providing we have a minimum of 10 participants. Normally, breakfast would be included but at that price he is asking for a "$5 or $10 donation for breakfast.  Wallaby Ranch has the best safety record you could ask for with 100,000+ tandem flights with NO INCIDENTS, not even a scratch. They fly only with new, well maintained equipment.

HANG GLIDING; Since they fly only when the wind is calm, we will be flying Sat. evening from ~4 PM to sunset, and Sunday morning from 8 AM to ~10 AM. If you like, and are able to get there by 8 AM Sat. you can, of course, fly then. Basically a small plane with a 180' rope behind it attaches to the tandem glider. The plane throttles up, everything starts rolling and within a few seconds you (and the instructor) are off the ground. You fly up to an altitude of 2000 feet, cut loose from the plane and gently glide back to the ground. The instructor does all the flying on takeoff and landing but will allow you to fly (if you like) at altitude. You may be grinning for hours after the flight. It is a lot of fun!!! If you'd like to know more, go to http://wallaby.com

Camping - We will probably camp in a cove just off the runway and near the bathrooms and showers. Also in that area is an outdoor screened dining area, wood fired pizza oven, grills, ping pong table....all kinds of fun stuff.  Also, they have cabins for rent on a first come basis. Call 1.800.WALLABY to reserve.

Hiking - There is an abundance of hiking trails just off the runways. The trails go off in all directions and can be viewed from Google Map or I will try to take some aerial photos.

PAYMENT; A pre-pay of $40 is required two weeks before the event with the remainder due after the flight. The pre-pay is for the purpose of staffing the event properly.

DIRECTIONS: Take I-95 S to I-4 W. Go through Orlando on I-4 and turn north on to US27. Go about 1 1/2 miles and turn left on Dean Still road. Go a little more than a mile and look for a large silver mail box on the left. Look for the large numbers 1805 on the box. Turn in and make your way to the parking area near the big oak trees.

We will meet at the Wallaby Ranch site at or around 10AM on Feb. 23 and set up camp. We can have lunch there (at 3PM, and $10 per person) OR, there are several restaurants in the area.
Leader: Al Sasser
[masked] sassman010 ‘at’ att.net

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  • Al S.

    Thanks Julie. You are right, the new friendships make it all worthwhile. I enjoyed it as well, and learned a lot from my first experience as a group leader. Perhaps I'll do it again but a bit differently next time. Good to see you and thanks to all for keeping things on the up-and-up. Lots of fun events to look forward to!

    2 · February 27, 2013

  • julie h.

    Al -Thank you my friend for a job WELL DONE! It is very difficult to plan an event, especially for 2 nights. You rock and we are proud to have you in the group. Also, thank you for getting the band that all of us enjoyed. That was a generous gift and I heard you did that yourself out of the goodness of your heart! Hang gliding would have been great, but you can't control Mother Nature. The new friendships were worth the trip.......YOU ROCK!!

    5 · February 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Let's put all of it to rest. All had a good time, regardless.

    3 · February 26, 2013

  • vic c.

    Thanks Al, had a good time ,well with the Sidetrackers we always have a good time and we'll have another time to do the hang gliding

    February 25, 2013

  • Nan

    Mike, I regret you feel the need to disparage Wallaby Ranch. I found the Wallaby Ranch to be accommodating and a pleasant place both times I have gone.

    3 · February 25, 2013

  • Kathy

    4 of us went to Quest in Davenport and flew on Sunday. It was great. Highly recommend trying hang gliding.

    2 · February 25, 2013

    • Melody E.

      Glad you got to fly; started to head over there and then figured they'd be socked in w/ clouds, too so I headed home. There's always next time!

      February 25, 2013

  • Al S.

    Great! Glad to hear that some of you got to fly. I am truly sorry it didn't happen at Wallaby as planned. They are very conservative there. It was good to see you all and thanks for the kind words! See you on the next hike.

    2 · February 25, 2013

    • Melody E.

      Thanks, Al, for putting together a great event. Flying or not, it was a lot of fun camping and being with the group.

      February 25, 2013

  • owenrm

    Thanks for putting this together Al. It was super fun. Sidetrackers always has a great group of people to hang and camp with. Thanks to everybody for making me and Candy's first official camping trip a success! :)

    1 · February 24, 2013

    • Melody E.

      Enjoyed meeting you, Candy and your sense of humor! See you on another Sidetrackers adventure.

      1 · February 25, 2013

  • John

    Did anyone get to fly?

    February 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      A couple of us did at Quest on Sunday morning.

      1 · February 25, 2013

    • owenrm

      Three girls got to ride the powered glider Saturday night. Sunday morning was overcast with low clouds. So, they couldn't fly then. I think that was a good call - it started raining as we were pulling out to go home.

      1 · February 25, 2013

  • Martine L.

    I had an ABSOLUTE BLAST meeting such great people and loved all of the all of the activities and the beautiful setting! Thanks for a GREAT meetup!

    2 · February 24, 2013

  • brenda b.

    AWESOME weekend at a great place and wonderful people! Thanks Al. All your planning really paid off!!!

    1 · February 24, 2013

  • Melody E.

    Enjoyed camping, chillaxing, dancing to a great band, meeting more new friends and eating great food. Too bad Mother Nature didn't cooperate so we could fly. There's always next time! :)

    1 · February 24, 2013

  • Casey

    Didn't get to hang glide due to the weather, but had a terrific time making new friends and relaxing. Food was also excellent!

    1 · February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a great time. Look forward to the next.

    February 24, 2013

  • Ron

    I actually made the RSVP by mistake. I hope you guys have a great time.

    February 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I can't make it but an emergency came up, can't leave town.

    February 22, 2013

  • Casey

    I am planning to arrive very late tonight. Please let me know if I need anything special to enter property...gate codes, etc. text to[masked]-9968. Thanks!

    1 · February 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My first meet up or hang out is ironically enough, hang gliding. #stoked.

    February 22, 2013

  • Al S.

    WEATHER Well, it looks like the winds are picking up soon so I can't promise that we can tandem on Sat. but Sun is still looking OK. Plus, there are alternative ways to fly here plus lots of activities. You will see. You won't get bored.
    FLYING WITH EAGLES I went hang gliding again today and guess what; made another video. This one is called Eagle Territory Near WR . check it out on You Tube

    February 21, 2013

  • Karl G.

    just found meetup.com and this group. Too short notice for me and my kids but when might there be another trip planned?

    February 21, 2013

  • brenda b.

    Looking forward to this! Does anyone want to share an inexpensive hotel room nearby? Also, I will have room for 2 more people in my car. I'm planning to leave early Sat but need to get back to Jax early Sunday (like by 10) thanks! Brenda

    February 19, 2013

    • Janice

      Brenda: I would be interested in splitting a hotel room. I also would like to get back early to Jax.

      February 21, 2013

  • Nan

    WARNING>>>I understand the Daytona Motorcycle thing is this weekend...sooo...I am going 301 to I75...gook luck....

    February 20, 2013

    • vic c.

      Its nascar Dayton 500!!!!

      February 21, 2013

    • vic c.

      Hmmm, I think I'll bring the vball net/ horseshoes :-) :-) :-)

      1 · February 21, 2013

  • Al S.

    GUEST WAIVER If you are not a regular dues paying Sidetracker club member then please be sure to print out, sign, and bring a waiver (found at the bottom of the write up on-line)
    AERIAL VIEW OF WALLABY RANCH; I went hang gliding yesterday and made a short video (1 1/2 min) for your entertainment. Go to You Tube and query SideTrackers at Wallaby Ranch (no space in SideTrackers)
    TRAFFIC I don't know what it is going to look like on I95 Sat morning with the Daytona 500 going on but here is an alternate route; 17S to 19S to 50E to 33S to Dean Still rd. E. This is a beautiful ride through the Ocala National Forrest. (I suggest Google mapping before heading out)

    February 21, 2013

  • Dee C.

    I'm realy excited and can'nt wait to hang glide

    February 21, 2013

  • Catherine F.

    oops got other plans
    have fun

    February 20, 2013

  • Jennifer

    Had surgery a few weeks ago and not feeling 100% yet. Bummer

    February 18, 2013

    • John

      Get well soon

      February 19, 2013

  • Kristina

    You guys are killing me with all the great activities on weekends I have to work. Geez

    February 18, 2013

  • Al S.

    PARTY (BYOB)

    DANCING They have a dance floor in the "barn".
    BAND; 6 members and they are awesome. They play a lot of music from 70's & 80's Great dancing music!
    CABINS are $30 to $80 and sleep 2 to 5 (more if you share double beds). There are no reservations, pets, or smoking allowed. Bring your own sheets.
    CAMPING is $10/person/night
    MEALS are $10/each (and well worth it)

    February 18, 2013

  • Gina J.

    Is it possible to do everything BUT the going up in the hang-glider?

    February 18, 2013

    • Gina J.

      I prefer to have a bit more metal material around me when going up in the air.

      February 18, 2013

    • Gina J.

      I'll be there greeting you at the bottom with the camera!

      February 18, 2013

  • owenrm

    Gina, Candy and I asked Al the same thing. I'm flying, she's not. He indicated her attendance is no charge. Owen

    February 18, 2013

  • Kathy

    Can we arrive Friday night to avoid having to drive in the am?

    February 17, 2013

    • Melody E.

      I'm coming down after work on Fri. to set up camp; should arrive by 8:30 pm. See you then!

      February 17, 2013

    • Al S.

      OK, great, bring flashlight, lawn chair, ect.

      February 17, 2013

  • John

    Certified H2, but we got a pinewood derby race that day

    February 17, 2013

    • Al S.

      Flying both Sat & Sun. Kids love it there.

      February 17, 2013

  • Al S.

    GET OFF THE COUCH! And quit watching this kind of thing on TV. Get out there and do it yourself. Just Do It! You will be glad you did.; I Promise! This is a fantastic CHARACTER BUILDING EVENT that you can tell your kids, grand kids, neighbors and friends. THINK POSITIVE! Think of all the fun; flying, camping, comradery, make new friends, PARTY + DANCING to a SIX MEMBER BAND on Sat. nite, hiking, volley ball, ping pong, screened open air dining, and more..... There are several spots open so sign up, before it fills up, so you can get HIGH! (on life)

    1 · February 16, 2013

  • Casey

    I paid deposit to Wallaby Ranch

    February 14, 2013

    • Al S.

      Thanks Casey!

      February 15, 2013

  • Al S.

    Credit card payment. If you call 1 800 WALLABY, you can pay by credit card. However, if you do so please pay in full, $120, and let me know so I can keep track, please. [masked]

    February 9, 2013

  • owenrm

    Candy and I will be there. Only one of us will be flying. :)

    February 6, 2013

  • Al S.

    REMINDER If you are coming to the Sidetracker meeting Wednesday evening, please bring the prepay of $40. I am trying to get an accurate count.

    February 4, 2013

  • Al S.

    LIVE BAND, "The Trouble With Bob" band will be playing Sat. Night, Feb 23, and YES, they do have a dance floor!

    February 4, 2013

  • Casey

    I got the last spot!!! Woohoo!

    January 29, 2013

  • Al S.

    Yes, if they are participating in the hang gliding, and yes otherwise but keep in mind that I am trying to keep the numbers to a manageable number.

    January 29, 2013

  • Rachael

    Can I bring a friend?

    January 28, 2013

  • Marta D.

    Taking myself off the list and letting someone else go on this trip. Been unemployed a couple of weeks and not sure I should be planning anything when I don't know what I'll be doing then. Have fun everyone!!,

    January 28, 2013

  • Al S.

    DON"T GET BUMPED! Deadline for pre-pay is Feb. 9, 2013. A prepay of $40 is required for staffing the event (plane pilots, tandem pilots, ground assist, entertainment, ect..) The remainder ($80) can be paid after the flight. Make checks payable to Wallaby Ranch and send to me (Al Sasser; 4735 Yerkes St, Jax., Fl 32205). so that I can keep track.
    OR, show up at the Side Tracker monthly meeting (Feb. 6) with a check.
    AFTER FEB 9, the event will be open to all who pay the $40 pre-pay up to a limit of 40 people.

    1 · January 24, 2013

  • Jay G.

    This sounds awesome!

    January 9, 2013

  • Al S.

    OK, this just in; Aravina Jasti asked;
    "Any discounts offered for the video DVD ??? Would be great if we can get it for a little lesser cost."
    And the response from Wallaby Ranch;
    "OK, we’ll do DVD data card for 30.00 each"
    Go to Wallaby.com to get more info but basically it is a video of your personal tandem flight.
    The price listed on the web site is $60, so this is a pretty darn good deal.

    January 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds awesome!

    January 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i cant that weekend

    January 5, 2013

  • Barbara

    I have to take an unexpected trip to Africa to see my daughter. She is in the peace corps in Uganda. Hope we can do this again!

    January 5, 2013

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