Lisa, I just came across your TR. We had left on our 395 car camping trip the day you posted it, and I was (purposely) off the 'net until we got back a week later. By that time, it had dropped in the queue and I never got a chance to read it.
As others have commented, you're a great writer - you really captured the entire mood & adventure of the trip, and the difficulty of parting and heading out alone. Let's start planning for next year!
Btw, you may get a chuckle out of this, but I too missed my own cut-off from Wales to WLB. What's weird is I did cross the last stringer, but as I looked up and to the right (ie looking north/north-west) + conferring with my map (with my own notes!), the boulders, trees and shoulder looked so much steeper than what I recalled from my descent two days earlier.
So, I kept moving sideways around the contour, thinking I was making headway towards where WLB opens up, until I got to the .. PCT!!! Just like you, I must have been 50-100 yards off it as it swings due west/north-west from Wallace to Wright creek. And you know what? I immediately came across a NOBO solo hiker, then 3 SOBO 20-somethings (girls/women - what's the PC terms if guys are guys?) I guessed doing the JMT.
Well, I jetted past the NOBO, hiked for around 5 minutes to the point where I knew Wright would be crossing the PCT within 1/4 mile, and launched across the trees/meadows until the entire basin opened up. I figured I might have added 1/2-1 mile extra distance, but was relieved to find out that I wasn't really off pace.
When I left the gang @ 7am, I wasn't sure how fast I could get back, and was planning on spending the night in Lone Pine. But with an empty pack and visions of home, I got to my car @ 5pm, got on the road after fueling up both car & body by 5:45 and walked through the door @ 9:45pm. (You can really fly in post Friday night commute traffic.)
I always get cleaned up before I return, so my wife has never seen me so worked. If I've been surfing all day, she knows I'm tired and will crash, but she's never seen me so dirty, sweaty, thirsty & worked.
She is/was really impressed with your story. I think she's following you on FB.