Thanks everyone, for the kind comments. A couple of responses:
Roger - that's what I keep telling him!
Miguel - re: the tarp. Actually, after that experience I'm going with a poncho tarp from now on. The pitching flexibility would have been much more valuable than the beaks, IMHO. And when I was hunkering down dodging lightning, a poncho would have kept me and my pack a lot drier than any rain jacket, regardless of the wind.
Heather - I had NOT tried these specific recipes at home. I think that the food was pretty mediocre, but the big altitude jump and my fatigue contributed more to my food being inedible than the actual flavor.
Sam - right on! Coming from a guy who just finished a 1200-mile hike...
Frank & co - re: podcasts, we actually will have podcast transcripts available very soon. We already have a lot of them transcribed, so once we hash out the details of how to format and publish them they'll be available on the site. I love being able to read the transcripts - gives you a whole different feel for the people and places, and yes, it's much less time-consuming to read than to listen.
Neil - wow, that sounds epic! We were early for any serious snowstorms. After the storm on the ridge, we spent about 2 hours hiking through a gigantic Slushee - the trail turned into a muddy mix of ice-cold water and hail. Made for cold feet hiking in mesh trail runners. Interestingly enough, what I craved on those hard days was salt - lots and lots of it. On one day, I found myself fantasizing about just eating straight table salt off my hand! I should have brought more Fritos or CornNuts - those seemed to do the trick for me.