I think if you bypassed the fuel pump and filled the tank up, it might run sorta ok for half a tank
you are right, the carbs are higher than the bottom of the tank, that is why we need a fuel pump. Maybe you could have done a Muldoon and got it running enough to get home... maybe.
I was into sailing for about 18 years, had two different boats. When I first started it was hard to adjust: the weekend comes and you want to sail on saturday, so I tow my boat to the marina, set it up and launch it, and there is no wind. I paddle out the inlet to the lake, catch a 2mph breeze for 10 minutes, and then there is no wind. I bob around for about an hour, jump in the water for a swim, paddle the boat all the way back in the inlet, and think "Wow! that was great!"
Next week I tow the boat to the marina, set it up and launch it, and the wind is blowing like its mad as hell at me personally. I whip across the water in the bay hanging on for my life, hoping the boat does not capsize, do that for an hour or so and get exhausted, take the boat home....
after about a summer of this I finally learned that you can only 'go sailing' when the wind is between 8 and 20 knots, which really cuts down on your opportunity for sailing - but when you can get on the water, its just pure joy.
I learned patience in those 18 years, and it carried over. No point in riding when the weather sucks and you are not enjoying it. Do something else, save that money, and next time you can go farther or ride longer or stay overnight in a hotel.