Thanks everyone, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it with Kevin, and going over the photos/memories last week. As for the joy of the trip itself, I'm still trying to get a handle on that myself.
I'll not speak for Sam and Matt, but I will say that the route Kevin engineered paid unforeseen dividends on the first two days. The wind was cold at 1000 up at the pass when my wife dropped us off. The CDT goes up just to the left of the sign you can see in the picture of us and our packs. Between the cold, wind, snow, and especially the projected low that night, I was really happy to be heading down into protected vallys post haste.
Camp that night was tough enough. It was perfectly tolerable, even pleasing, but the cold combined with the first night shakedown made camp chores take forever. My having to use a rock to chop a hole through 2-3" of ice to get water out of the lake didn't help.