I did this route in reverse a week or two before you. Your descriptions are bang-on. Such as the byzantine-ness of the south side of Cinder Col (although, no big deal, and actually fun, huh?). I did stay at a lovely campsite at the outlet of South Guard Lake, and the alpenglow was every bit as nice as you might expect
Between Brewer Basin and Cinder Col, I saw 6 (!) dippers (water ouzels), in 3 different groupings - which is maybe why there is a nearby stream called Ouzel Creek, draining the other side of Brewer.
Like cgunderson, I missed your Magic Route through the lower half of the Sphinx watershed, and yes I was always investigating the western wall for a good way. Below Lake #1, most of the choices appeared to be, Beat through the nasty willow in the valley floor; or hop endless talus along the canyon sides (and there were streams of willow stretching up there too). And just for fun, let's throw in a lot of massive downed logs. Unless I can be sure of finding Flamingo's Magic Route, I never want to do the Sphinx again. (Whiny baby here where willow is concerned.)
You missed out by not ever staying at Reflection.
Do you bring a pan to fry the veggies in? Maybe your pot comes with a lid that doubles as a fryer? I usually dehydrate veggies such as garlic, broccoli, onions, kale, and peppers, and sprinkle some in every meal. But I'd like to experiment with the fresh stuff