Frank, TRTA uses young adult interns that aren't as familiar with the trail as some of the older staff so I'd call and talk to someone rather than just email. They are always friendly and great about answering questions on the phone. As for the park ranger, I'd ask him specifically if he means that the well ran dry. I'm also in Reno so I'm aware of the record heat this year. Though it makes me wonder if he is even aware there is a well. Its maybe 5 years old, I don't remember for sure. Often, ranger jobs are seasonal and the rangers are not as familiar with the area as others. I have a friend with a BA in Wildlife who is a ranger and travels for his job. Sometimes, you can ask the people who run that little store at Spooner Lake, the ones who do the shuttle service for the mountain bikers. They talk to a lot of folks that have hiked and/or biked in the area and might know.
Christopher's Loop is a 1.2 mile loop directly off the TRT. If you have time, I really recommend reconsidering it. Unless you leave camp very late, there is ample time for this detour before heading down Tunnel Creek. That is the same exit route I did last summer. The view truly is stunning. Good for your wife on doing the TRT! And good for you for supporting her! That is awesome!! I also did it in segment hikes to celebrate turning 40. Last year I did Half Dome and last week I did Whitney.
Have a great time on the TRT! Its a beautiful trail. I don't know if this will work (I'm not message board savvy) but here is a link to a page with a picture of the view from Christopher's Loop. Christopher's Loop