According to Wikipedia, The Mogollon (pronounced Mo-gi-yon) Rim is an escarpment defining the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The Rim is a major floristic and faunal boundary, with species characteristic of the Rocky Mountains living on the top of the plateau, and species native to the Mexican Sierra Madre on the slopes below. What all this means to you is that Day 5 is an ever-changing ride through a Nature Transition Zone. Transitions are good - variety is an essential ingredient to an appetizing dual sport ride, and there’s plenty of variety to be had as you cross the Sitgreaves National Forest along some less-traveled two track. Speaking of appetizing, a tasty lunch awaits hungry dual sporters at Wild Women Saloon in Heber-Overgaard, which is the half-way point of this 109 mile ride.
Following lunch, the ride joins up with FR 300 which hugs the top of the Mogollon Rim as you plod eastward. In June 2002, the eastern portion of the Mogollon Rim was the site of Arizona's second-largest wildfire, the 470,000-acre (1,900 km2) Rodeo-Chediski fire. The Mogollon Rim was also the site of the Dude fire that started on June 25, 1990. This fire grew to cover over 30,000 acres (120 km2) and killed six wildland firefighters. Besides fire, other more likely hazards to beware of include deep, crusty ruts and clay-based soil that’s slipperier than gorilla snot when wet. Do yourself (and your bike) a favor, and don’t attempt this section if thunderstorms are on the horizon (take Highway 260 to Show Low instead).
FR 300 ends at Highway 60 where you’ll gallop on pavement toward Show Low and back to basecamp. According to Wikipedia, Show Low got its name when two ranchers felt that life in the territory was getting a little too crowded. The men, Marion Clark and Corydon Cooley, decided to settle their differences with a card game named Seven Up. Whoever drew the low card won. As the game drew to an end, Clark exclaimed, "Show Low," and Cooley turned up the two of clubs - and the rest is history…
To get the most out of Day 5, check out these online resources before you go: