Good story. I have had a few moments that were similar.
I am of the opinion that GPS can sometimes be a bad thing. I followed a track on my 950 adv in baja for 5 miles down a deep sandy wash, only to find out that the road I was hoping to intersect did not exist. It was here that I had the ah ha moment and realized that I was an idiot and could die out there. Had I not had the gps I would not have attempted it. I am starting to prefer actual maps with the gps as a backup. The gps seems to inhibit my situational awareness.
I also have to chime in on the hard bags. It kills me to see guys on a day trip with all the hard bags on. I can see if your going on a beer run, or RTW, but if you are just riding around they are not worth the effort to me. Too easy to get your foot hung up under them in the rough stuff.
Here is one of my bikes setup for a week trip.
I have the hard bags for my KTM but have never even put them on.