especially for the trail food. (my favourite is sardine sandwiches, olives and orange / carrot juice). Instead of quick fix candy / chocolate bars, citrus fruit is much better - orange, grapefruits give a better sugar release.
Yes, it was nice. At the bottom of the gorge you could see there is Lake Chelan, a 50-mile long, 1500 foot deep inland fjord. We were about 6000 feet almost directly above the lake, and could see a floatplane flying way down below. Now I could brag to my friends that I've been above a plane while on dry land. :D
Those sound like some interesting food choices, for backpacking I always like tuna and macn'cheese.
I used to flake out after an hour of ascent if I ate cereals for breakfast. A good cooked plateful keeps me going for ages.