OK, so here's my follow-up from my tree-cutting: 4Peaks was socked in this morning and dark on the way home, but there should have been a few inches of snow above 5500-6000 feet.
The Beeline from the 4Peaks turnoff all the way past Rye was amazing. The runoff from both sides of the road was impressive. Every single wash or crack/crevice that doesn't even qualify as a wash was flowing. I saw more waterfalls than I've seen this side of Norway. Especially on the east side between Barnhardt TH and Mt. Ord. (Sorry, no pictures, I was driving and didn't feel motivated enough to stop). A couple of inches of snow coated Mt. Ord and Mt. Peeley and the higher elevations of the Mad-as-hells.
Payson seemed to be all rain, but it was snowing by Diamond Point Shadows (Fresh Lobster, anyone?) at 5100 ft, and there was 2-3 inches in the Kohl's Ranch/Christopher Creek area. By the top of the Rim, there was 6-8 inches of new snow and Hwy 260 was closed at the Rim Road due to flooding caused by a sink hole on the highway between there and the Young Road. Apparently that's been fixed.
The Rim Road was open, but was an absolute mess. Note to self: Big trucks and big tires mean small everything else (in this case, brains). Dozens of people managed to get stuck, and I donated a shovel and tow rope to some of the needy. I also decided it was not worth my effort to make it to some of the more pristine tree-cutting areas. (The ones with trees that actually resemble a Christmas tree ... I'm sorry, but Pinyon does not qualify). Wouldn't have been too much trouble if not for all the other vehicles on the road.
So, after turning around in an area a couple of trucks were stuck and a line of 15 or so were waiting to get by, I headed back toward Woods Canyon Lake and did what seemed like a 15 mile hike, but was probably only about 2. The snow ranged from 6-16 inches deep (where it hadn't melted from last weekend) and was like walking in wet concrete as it was melting from the ground up. With this week's forecasted cold weather, that should freeze solid and probably not melt until spring. There was lots of water flowing and it was tough to find a good-looking tree since everything was coated in snow and looked awesome. Too bad it can't look like that in the living room!
Sorry for the lengthy post. It's like a hike log, except it was less hike and more adventure. But hiking in deep snow burned some thigh muscles I didn't realize I had!
I posted some pictures on my picasa if you're interested. http://picasaweb.google.com/chumleyaz/ChristmasTreeCuttting?authkey=hyEUzXhSlL4