On July 7th, 2014 a wonderful story was completed. A man pushed his best friend in a wheelchair, across the 500 mile Camino de Santiago trail in Spain.
You can read an article about it here.
I thought this would be a warming video to share this week !
Earlier in the year the City of Eureka, CA received a request to re-name the Elk River Loop trail. The request asked for the trail to be re-named the Melvin “Cappy” McKinney Memorial loop trail. Recently both the Eureka open space parks and recreation commission, as well as the planning commission – voted to approve this request.
A few life facts about Melvin -
- born September 27th, 1933 in Mountain Lake, MN
- passed away June 7th, 2013 in Eureka, CA
- served in the US Navy
- worked as an electrical worker for many years, and proud union member
After retiring Melvin was a passionate environmental advocate in the Eureka/Humboldt Bay region. His primary passion was the Elk River area, which was the driving force to honor this trail in his name. Melvin was a strong advocate behind the Elk River wildlife area , being upgraded to a sanctuary in 2003. Melvin was very active in speaking at Eureka City Council meetings, educating citizens and government entities alike.
At the Aug 5th council meeting, many citizens and environmental groups spoke publicly in favor to approve this request. One example of this was Larry Glass, President of the NorthCoast Environmental Center – sharing support on behalf of the NEC for this request. Larry said “I miss Mel, he was a good friend of mine, great guy, and worked tirelessly to protect this area”. In Aug of 2013, after Mel’s passing the NEC contributed an article to highlight the wonderful legacy of Mel on the NorthCoast.
Where is the memorial trail located ?
The Melvin “Cappy” McKinney Memorial loop trail in located mid-way on the Hikshari trail in Eureka, CA. You can find more general info about the Hikshari trail on TrailLink.com, which includes a map, access points, etc. The Hikshari trail is paved, and the Melvin Mckinney trail is a gravel surface. The memorial trail is a semi loop with two access points along the Hikshari trail. A beautiful segment of trail that is a wonderful place to reflect on Mel as you move about the Elk River area. Parking is an option for both automobiles, and secure bicycle parking at the mid-way right by the memorial trail. As seen in the TrailLink map, the dotted line on the map highlights the memorial loop.
At the time of this article publication, I have not received word on when an updated trail sign will be installed.
Below are images of the Melvin “Cappy” McKinney Memorial loop trail -
This sign below is what existed before the new memorial sign was installed -
I would like to thank Mel for his environmental passions. I hope that community members will always visit the memorial trail while visiting this area. Be sure to take a few moments to stop at the bench along the trail, and listen for Mel’s strong presence. To extend Mel’s passion I’m sure he would love for each of you to engage in council meetings to speak your voice, support local environmental groups, and be active in enjoying the outdoors !
May the voice of Mel live through the rest of us, protecting the Humboldt Bay region for future generations.
In late winter/early spring of 2013-14, I shared information with readers on the safety corridor re-paving project. Which included a new feature not seen in our area before, of the highway right shoulder getting a red pigment colorization.
Let’s review a few of the basics on this project – The corridor was completely repaved, which required two dry seasons to finish. A widened right shoulder from 8 ft to 10 ft, which serves as a Class III bike facility. The automobile lanes width was narrowed to allow for the wider shoulder. The white fog line next to the right shoulder was also widened, with the rumble strip just inside the fog line. Some other enhancements were made during this project, although this article will just focus on documenting the red shoulder. I have readers outside the Redwood curtain whom are very eager to see what the red shoulder actually looks like.
What is a Class III bike facility ? Class III bikeway (bike route) are shared facilities which serve to either to:
a) provide continuity to other bike facilities (usually class II bikeways, such as a bike lane)
b) designate preferred routes through a high demand corridor
If you would like to read the full definition, please refer to chapter 1000, page 3 in the highway design manual. Chapter 1000 linked here.
Also note that this red shoulder is a more short-term fix. In an effort for Caltrans to work with the bicycle community. In Humboldt County as a whole this corridor is marked as a high priority for the Humboldt Bay trail project. Much progression has been made on this project. If you’re not familiar with some of the latest news on this project, you can refer to my Humboldt Bay Trail progression page. This includes newly released videos, recent project updates documents, and much more. If you would like to see what the Bay Trail corridor currently looks like you may view my images in this article.
In the Long term with automobile travel. Caltrans is working on an improvement project. Though the Bay Trail must be secured in order for the improvement project to move forward, as directed by the state coastal commision.
I’m not a big fan of riding a bicycle along the highway. In capturing my pictures for this article, I had ridden my Brompton on a weekend morning when traffic volume was low. The wider shoulder did make it feel like automobiles were a bit further away from me. If it were not for the rumble strips I would not even attempt the highway by bike. At least the rumble strip can warn me of possible trouble, but with gravel to the very right of the shoulder. A fast evacuation probably would end very ugly once my bicycle tires hit the gravel. Colorization, and even an extra two feet of width – tends to not affect my uncomfortable feelings of high-speed traffic racing next to my precious life with no barrier of protection. This is the second time I’ve ridden my bike in the corridor to capture a story for my readers ! Of course I have survived once again to share the images below, so I hope you enjoy the images and informative links.
This first image is the northern end of the southbound side of the highway. This area is just south of Somoa Blvd.
The next image below is passing over the first slough bridge. The red shoulder is missing from this segment, unknown to me why that is.
The next two images show a common site with automobile traffic. Notice the posted speed limit, and the actual speed of passing motorist. This is one contention on why the Humboldt Bay Trail is much-needed.
Below we travel further south entering the Eucalyptus trees area. This segment is challenging for bicycle riders due to a lot of debris falling from the trees above. Not so much debris falling on you, but too much debris along the roadway -
The airport area below, getting closer the Eureka -
The red shoulder on the southbound side ends as you approach the last slough bridge, before you enter Eureka -
The remaining images will be traveling along the northbound side of the corridor.
The image below shows the beginning of the northbound red shoulder. This is at the slough crossing just north of town -
In the below image we show an example of the off ramp. The red pigmentation ceases, then the red continues after the on ramp.
Here on the Humboldt coast the corridor travels through a Tsunami zone -
This area of the state the 101 is also known as the Redwood Highway. Not referring to the red shoulder, but our wonderful Redwood trees !
One of the northbound radar speed signs -
Indianola cutoff area -
Getting closer to Arcata -
This is the northbound end of the red shoulder, just south of Somoa Blvd -
Thank you for spending time with me on my site ! My main goal with this site is to offer community outreach on transportation topics. I try to share stories of what mainstream media may not cover. My articles can often be unique, compared to what others cover in regards to story content. I thank all for the kind words you have shared with me. The best way you can thank me, is by simply sharing my articles with others. As this helps my goal to spread the information about transportation in the Humboldt Bay region.
May we each transport safely to every destination !!
Recently I had a local resident point out they were not that fond of bicycle riding the agonizing hills to reach the main hang out area of the community forest. This article is a tip, and reminder for those of you that want to bike casually to the park without having to ride up those pesky steep hills. Perhaps you want to save all your energy for a good hike, or just go relax in the main area without the sweat of a hill. Going up hills is a reality when accessing the community forest.
Well rest assured we do have some other choices. I like to park my bicycle at the corner of 14th and Union. Also another great tip is that local public transit has a stop at 14th and B St, a quick walk to the trailhead ! So consider using the Red route for AMRTS, or the mainline of HTA also located at 14th and B St.
At the end of the sidewalk is the beginning of the trail. The field next to the bike parking includes some picnic tables. It’s a 5 minute walk that will lead you up to the main area of the park. You have many options at this point on the rest of your adventure. The trail leading up to the main area has a few benches along the way. A great spot for coffee outside, to begin your day in peace ! I call it the trail of many opportunities. Like most trails it’s a little climb, but rather short. Some steps do exist along the upper part of the trail.
Dennis Houghton with the City of Arcata, informed me the trail was re-constructed in 1997. The California Conservation Corps out of the Del Norte Center in Klamath, was the organization that re-constructed the trail.
Below see a few images of the trail before you get to the main park area -
Once you reach the top you will come out in the corner of the main field -
The 14th and Union bicycle parking is a great place to begin your journey by foot. Ample parking for families, or friends going as a group. As well as great access for pedestrians walking from town. From downtown riding a bicycle I suggest going up 11th St crossing the 101 overpass, make a left on C St, than right on 14th. Union is a few blocks up the road, the total commute from downtown is less than 1 mile.
Another tip if you are a iPhone user download Bike Maps from the app store. It’s a small fee type app, but you can download maps for free within the app. Including the Arcata Community Forest, or even the Humboldt Bay bike map. As an alternative pick up a paper map of the community forest at local bike shops, and at Arcata City Hall.
When locking your bicycle at any location, and leaving it for an extended period of time. Always have a good lock such as a u-lock that is hard to defeat, and lock the bicycle up properly. I recently wrote an article pertaining to theft, and how to better protect your bicycle. Please always carry ample water on your journeys, and stay prepared for fun excursions into the forest. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place to visit !
Having multiple transportation access options to the park is good city design planning by Arcata. Give the access trail a try for yourself, if you have not already – by bicycle, foot, or public transit. Accessing local parks this way can offer new experiences during your visits !