Watching them on the satellite tracker I was concerned there was something wrong since their pace was extraordinarily slow at first, but messages from camp assured me that they were just busy taking hundreds of pictures and had found a fabulous campsite above a lake -- and so actually things were great.
Today they continued to take it a bit slowly but now they're about 13 miles in and I'll be able to intercept them late Thursday it seems. Tina got me word via the new satellite tracker (a Delorme inReach) that they are sore and tired but are nevertheless doing well considering they only had one shakedown hike prior!
Meanwhile, today I did the 500+ mile round trip to Susanville from Mammoth Lakes to scout for a base of operations for myself. Mission accomplished. On the way back I met a hiker looking for a hitch into Bridgeport from the 108/395 junction (the Sonora Pass turnoff) -- and he was hiking with a cat! It seemed perfectly satisfied to be doing it, too. Amazing.
I don't think our cat, Bounce, would be nearly so tolerant although we were wondering for a bit whether we'd be making the attempt. Only in the last minutes did we find a temporary home for her in Ridgecrest, CA where our bike shop friends from last year, Bob and Ardyce, located a local cat sitter who was willing to accept Bounce into her own home. Thanks again to Bob, Ardyce, and Jeanne!