Well, I'm back on the trail -- four days into the trip. It was such a whirlwind I didn't get to post before I left. I owe y'all the story ... later.
Some final data sifting and a nice heart-to-heart talk with roaminrob finally convinced me to head back to the Sierra where I left off. It was a good decision. I was worried about the passes, but the snow has all melted off. The mosquitoes are frustrating but hardly the worst I've seen. The hiking has been demanding, but I've been making 20-mile days. I'm now past the worst of it, at Muir Trail Ranch (just past the northern border of Kings Canyon National Park) ... and nursing a knee that gave out after 10,000 feet of descent in 48 hours. Hopefully another night of rest will clear it up and I can keep hiking -- about 5 days to Yosemite from here and the end of the John Muir Trail (a great landmark and a wonderful achievement in case I can't finish the PCT).
Also: What's speckled brown, has beady little eyes, and charges at you out of the bushes when you're hiking down the trail? Answer to come when I reach a place with cheaper (non-satellite) Internet.