Ike; Thanks for the great trip report. You obviously know a lot about outdoor photography. Your composition, exposures and focus are all excellent. And you obviously took the considerable extra time and effort to set up a mini-tripod and check the composition, exposures, etc. before placing yourself in the frame.
As a former magazine writer, photographer and editor I recognize and appreciate your talent. I hope you are using those skills in your career. Believe me, your talent is far above average.