It’s only fitting to conclude the 6DAZE Earth, Wind & Fire Tour with this particular ride. Day 6 is an 87 mile loop that starts in Springerville and meanders along OHV trails and rugged two track toward Alpine for gas and lunch, before looping around Escudilla Mountain along Aspen shrouded Forest Roads and grassy two-track back to the start. This ride really brings home the devastation wrought by fire, dissecting parts of the Apache National Forest that were hardest hit by the Wallow Fire. The Wallow Fire, named for the Bear Wallow Wilderness area where the fire originated, was a massive wildfire that started in the White Mountains near Alpine, AZ on May 11, 2011. The fire eventually spread across the state line into western New Mexico. By the time the fire was contained on July 8, it had consumed 538,049 acres of land. The fire was started accidentally by two men who were camping. They cooperated with prosecutors and plead guilty to misdemeanor charges relating to mismanagement of their campfire. In November, 2012 they were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3.7 million.That’s a good enough reason right there to make sure your bike is equipped with a proper spark arrestor.
Despite the fire’s devastation, the White Mountains remain a sacred and beautiful place,especially when experienced by motorbike. We saved one of the gnarliest trail sections on the entire Earth, Wind & Fire Tour for the last day. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it once your heart rate settles down. Be prepared for summer monsoons in July and August, and especially beware of the powerful lightning manifested by the ancient spirit-gods that haunt these mountains.
To get the most out of Day 6, check out these online resources before you go: