Great pics, and great report!
Please tell me that you, or someone in your group, got a chance to ride one of the little WR250R's and can report on how it held up in that terrain (power, traction, weight, etc.). Those bikes haven't hit our shores yet (I keep hearing they're due in "any day now"), and I'm interested in adding one to the stable to keep the GS company.
Current: 2012 Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, 2008 Yamaha WR250R
Gone: Ducati Multistrada, Moto Guzzi Norge, BMW R1200GS, BMW F650 GS Dakar, KTM 520 EXC, Suzuki DRZ400E, and the list goes on.......