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July 31, 2018

Observations for 30 July 2018

After last evening's hot period, I was wondering what I would find on the platform. As far as I could tell, nothing had happened overnight. The platform was still wet, but the pools were separate, especially around the Southwest Vents. That indicated that there hadn't even been a long Bijou pause/Bathtub overnight.

About an hour and a half after I arrived, there was a radio call of splashes in Fan's Main Vent. Shortly after, Bijou had a long 5m30s pause. So for a short period of time, there was radio traffic concerning both of the major geysers. For me, the end of the pause meant nothing would be happening there and I was free to go down to Fan & Mortar on the off chance that it would finally erupt.

It took its time, but it did. The activity in High and Gold would build and then die down, then repeat. It did this over a period of about ten minutes. Finally, one of the surges got so strong that East Vent had to erupt. That was quickly followed by starts in Upper and Lower Mortar and in Main Vent. Because of the wind direction, I stationed myself beside the trees to the north, where I could record the preliminary activity and the start.

The wind direction wasn't too bad, as there wasn't really any wind. The drifting steam did provide bright rainbows in the morning sun, and at one point I got to see a full circle, and recorded some of it.

Afterwards, it was back to the Bijou Cage. About an hour and a half after the previous activity there was another long Bijou Pause, this time with some Southwest Vents activity. This took place shortly after Grotto had started. The end of Grotto (via Rocket) came and went, and there was no hot period, not even a long pause.

It was an hour later that Bijou finally slowed down and paused, and show went into a hot period. This one was strange. It was stronger that the simple Feather only ones, but definitely weaker than what we'd like to see. Mastiff never did any surging, and there wasn't as much overflow as it usually puts out. Feather's Satellite was never seen, but Cave was active. Feather's duration seemed shorter too.

After that, it was time to see Grand, and it did reward us by quickly having a two burst eruption.

About 4 hours after the hot period, back in the cabin, was surprised by someone announcing water in Mastiff. That was it, but it still said that it was time to get back out. Once again, there was a long pause at about the time Grotto started. An hour later there was another one. Rocket came and went, and all Bijou was doing was having one minute or so long minors.

It was about an hour and a quarter after Grotto ended that a pause slowly built into a hot period. It took about three minutes before the Southwest Vents came on. This time there was strong activity. When full, Mastiff was pouring out water, and surging to 4 or 5 feet at times. With the restart, Giant showed several cone filling surges, but the water level between surges was never at the bottom of the rim as it was during the eruption the other day. And with that, it was time to head back in.

July 30, 2018

Observations for 29 July 2018

Today I almost had the chance to see, by myself, an eruption of Giant in daylight in July. Well, sorta.

After yesterday, I figured something might happen at Giant overnight, and the platform looked more than wet enough for at least a minor hot period. The morning was also quite foggy. Unlike yesterday, the smoke did not reappear, although we did get some showers in the afternoon.

Not knowing when or how large it had been, I waited for the next activity. That turned out to be a 49s long Feather-only hot period at 13:59. That was 22 hours after the previously observed hot period, which sorta fits the pattern I've been using to make decisions. This hot period came just 15 minutes after the start of a Grotto eruption.

I returned in time for the next Grotto start, at 17:59, but other than a long pause (2m34s), there wasn't any activity on the platform. I wanted to see what happened at the end, so I quickly went back to the cabin to prepare for a wait in the dark.

As I returned, Rocket started erupting. That was good timing. I also noticed that Spa was starting to erupt. No water in the runoff when I saw a burst, and a few minutes later, there was water well down it.

Within minutes of the end of Grotto following that Rocket eruption, Bijou paused. Feather came on 6 minutes into the pause. It was still pretty light, so I was able to record the major part of the hot period when Feather's Satellite started. Feather was only on for a little over 3 minutes. Then the platform was quiet for the better part of a minute when suddenly Feather and several other vents, including Post Hole, all started splashing.

The surging in Giant started about then, and while it looked nice, it never built up into something that looked like there could be an eruption. It was obvious that the water level was well down in the vent, unlike the last eruption hot period when it seemed like the level was above the vent rim.

This activity, at least, gives me an idea as to what tommorrow will be like-- up early to check on the platform and confirm that it probably had some sort of minor hot period. Then wait for the next hot period. If no minor, then that could be in mid-morning, otherwise I'd expect it mid-afternoon. Could be an interesting day.

July 28, 2018

Observations for 28 July 2018

The basin was vacated for Norris. Started the morning down at the Bijou Cage, where I saw an eruption of Giant. Nothing much happened at the start or end, but a couple of hours later there was a Bathtub with Feather overdrooling.

The One Burst Grand eruption was nicely backlit, but came three seconds under ten minutes.

The rest of the day was devoted to trying to catch the first hot period of the current interval. The platform in the morning did not look like there had been anything from the vents by Feather than a bit of overflow. Finally succeeded in the early afternoon, when we got to see a 1m30s Feather only hot period. The only problem with this activity is that it didn't seem to be related to the start or stop from Grotto.

The afternoon the smoke suddenly reappeared. It tinged the clouds a reddish-brown. It got blustery and it rained a couple of times, which didn't seem to clear away the smoke.

After the minor hot period, waited quite a bit at Giant, but nothing much else happened. So went over to Grand for an early evening eruption. Unfortunately, the moon was completely obscured by a cloud bank to the south.

Radio Rant:
For the third time, the NPS was talking over the announcments of events down at Giant. This time it was for a possibly injured coyote across the river from Liberty Pool. The previous time was for something that Law Enforcement should have been handling (one that was interfering with announcents leading up to the last Giant eruption). I can't remember what was the first time anymore, other than it could've waited.

Observations for 27 July 2018

Another day started with a wait at Norris. After seven hours we left having seen one event worth getting the least excited about.

Back in the Upper Basin, went out to Grand. Earlier, while we were at Norris, it had the first three burst eruption since we got here. The eruption we saw was the first sub-nine minute eruption since we got here.

Then spent some time down in the Bijou Cage. Saw a couple of Grotto starts, but nothing much else happened. Never saw water in Mastiff, and never saw the Southwest Vents even try to start. While waiting, suddenly smelled smoke, and could see the plumes to the west.

Finally it was time for Grand. Originally was hoping for a nice moonlight eruption, but thanks to the smoke, the moon was a dark red ball on the horizon shedding no light. Had just walked up, after seeing Bulger's Hole fill but not erupt, when Grand started explosively. This interval was 5h34m, which is the shortest interval since we got here. It also lasted less than ten minutes, so not having to wait was nice.

July 27, 2018

Observations for 26 July 2018

The day started at Norris. Spent about seven hours watching nothing much happen. We were intending to leave at noon, but that's when something finally did happen. It was the first and only time during the day, it turns out, that New Crater/Steamboat gave any sign of an impending eruption. As it was, we waited an additional hour and a half.

Back in the Upper Basin, did get a two burst Grand eruption right after we got back. Later went down to Bijou Cage and saw a 4-1/2 minute Bijou pause where nothing else happened. The day ended with the rising full moon illuminating a One Burst Grand eruption.

I also did discover that the phone in the Norris parking lot works. There is a dial tone, and I was able to make an 800 call. This means that someone could buy a calling card can be able to call someone somewhere else who could rely information.

July 26, 2018

Observations for 25 July 2018

With all the charismatic megafeatures not due for attention for a couple of days, was another opportune time to leave the basin. Rode out to Lone Star in the morning, after catching another One Burst Grand.

Arrive with Lone Pine quiet. According to the log book, we had at least two hours to kill, but that was okay. We'd brought things to do. The mosquitoes weren't too bad, compared to what I've experience there in other years. Black Hole was active for the first half hour or so, with frequent, short eruptions. At some point before the overflow from Lone Start started, it quit.

The minor was earlier than we expected. After the minor, I noticed that the Perforated Cone was making lots of noise, and even showing a droplet or two every so often.

If the time of the previous major in the log book is to be believed, the interval between major eruptions was about 2-1/2 hours.

We got back in time for the next One Burst Grand eruption. After that, there wasn't really anything to do. Decided to forego the next, post-sunset Grand as it was cloudy and there was no moonlight.

July 25, 2018

Observations for 24 July 2018

Updated: 2018 Aug 08: Uploaded video at Giant Eruption 2018 Jul 24.

This is the time of the month to go out for moonlight Grand eruptions. So we were out for a steamy one burst that really didn't have much to recommend it. Then Beehive erupted without an indicator, so we didn't even get to see that.

Today's plan was to wait in the Bijou Cage for a hot period, probably the first since the previous Giant eruption. I arrived around 08:30 after a steamy Grand eruption. The platform looked much like it did yesterday morning. There was obvious runoff down from Mastiff. All the catch pools by the Southwest Vents were wet, which implied that there had at least been a long Bijou pause. The only anomaly was there was quite a bit of wetness around Feather and friends, implying, perhaps, a weak hot period.

The weather was mostly cloudy, and felt a bit humid. When the sun showed through gaps in the clouds, it felt hot and uncomfortable. I deployed an umbrella to make it easier to read a book on the iPad screen and to keep the sun off of me.

Grotto started right after Grand, before I could get to the cage. Within twenty minutes of arriving, there was a four minute pause that turned into a bathtub with some Southwest vent activity. Like yesterday, Bijou went into a noisy steam-phase, but it wasn't as powerful as the one yesterday.

After Rocket and Grotto shutting down, the next Bijou was at 10:07. This started a series of short pauses, durations about a minute every fifteen minutes or so.

Then, at 11:42, we had a nice 6 minute bathtub pause where Feather overflowed but didn't try to erupt. That was my cue to take a break, as previous experience said that it would probably be about an hour before the next platform event.

I took longer than that to get back, so I missed the Grotto start and the subsequent medium length (3 minute) Bijou pause at 12:41. I chose to skip the Grand eruption, which meant I missed a two burst eruption at 13:51. Rocket had a major eruption just before Grand, and Grotto was off by 14:01.

It was about this time that Mastiff's south vent (the one in the back) had one of its massive jetting surges. The kind of activity that seems to keep the water flowing all the way to the front of the platform.

The cloudiness had mostly disappeared by then, but the wind had picked up.

I've got to the point were I expect good things to happen soon after Grotto quits, and this was no exception. Bijou paused at 14:21, and water finally appeared in Mastiff about two minutes later. About 30 seconds later the Southwest Vents started to put out water. This was a slow start, and I was assuming (hoping) that we'd get Feather so we could finally have our first hot period.

It wasn't until 14:26 that Feather, which had been overflowing and burbling for several minutes, finally started up. Almost immediately, the Satellite and Cave started erupting. Mastiff was surging to several feet, wide thick boils like the ones before an eruption. Bijou turned back on at 14:28, which seemed a bit early. It was about that point that I realized that I might want to start recording the hot period, as it seemed like it was going to be a good one, perhaps similar to the one a week ago that should've started an eruption.

Even with all that activity, it was hard to believe that this was going to be more than just the first hot period in the series leading up to an eruption. I was already trying to figure out how much time I would have before getting back out-- would it be 6 hours for a minor, or could I risk waiting until tomorrow morning?

At this point I can refer to the video for events. (Posting will have to wait until I get home for the proper bandwidth.) As Mastiff dropped, Giant started to surge. The first couple of surges were angled, then the activity died down. Giant started surging again when Feather's Satellite shut down and Feather tried to stop. But then switched to vertical as Feather built up again. At times it looked like the entire contents of Giant's vent were lifting as a unit.

By this point, many of the vents on the platform had restarted, and Mastiff was having powerful "depth-charging" bursts. The entire platform was active again.

Then the cone filled with water several times, each time a bit higher. The surges started shooting the subsiding previous surge, with each surge higher. It was a surge that was at least twice as high as the cone that appeared to start the eruption, and even that had another, higher jet come through it to finally start the continuous activity.

After a couple of minutes, I went back to the 60 meter baseline marker to take a height measurement. It was quite windy, so the tops of jets were being pushed away from me. Because of all that, the best reading I got was 60%, which translates into 36 meters or about 120 feet. It was probably higher, maybe 150 feet, about as tall as a good start of a Grand eruption.

There was quite a crowd gathered there. Since the activity proceeded slowly, it allowed a number of gazers to join us for the start, or at least to be within sight of the start. The only problem was that once again, the NPS personnel kept breaking in and making it difficult for those in the cabin area to hear what was going on.

None of the signs moved. Obviously a few of them are too well situated.

After we return home, I should be able to make video of this start available.

The rest of the day was kinda anti-climatic. Did go out for the sunset Grand, but while the clouds to the west were pretty colors from an incoming thunderstorm, the one burst Grand itself was gray on gray.

July 24, 2018

Observations for 23 July 2018

Spent four hours, up 'til noon, in the Bijou Cage. Bijou paused twice, both times for about 4 minutes. Water rose in Mastiff, but not even enough to be considered a bathtub. (My definition of a bathtub is when there is water visible in Mastiff while seated at the bench. It's a lot more objective since eye level for most people is within a inches of the same height back there.) The second long pause happened just about the time Grotto quit, without having an eruption of Rocket.

During all that time Mastiff was surging nicely from the southern/back vent. Enough to keep a trickle of water running down the front of the platform. On several occasions, it looked like Posthole and Feather had water visible in them. I'm taking all this, especially the lack of frequent one minute long Bijou pauses, as a sign Giant is several days away from the first hot period this interval.

July 23, 2018

Observations for 22 July 2018

It was such a dull day that the mornings thermal activity consisted of doing laundry and a walk through the West Thumb Geyser Basin. The only geyser we saw was a small one when we stopped at the Potts overlook.

Other than that, there was a couple of Grand eruptions, one in the evening and another just after midnight. Now is the quiet time to enjoy a few moonlight Grand (or Beehive) eruptions before the waits for New Crater/Steamboat and Giant begin.

July 22, 2018

Observations for 21 July 2018

Since there was no reason to go to Norris, and we were wide awake, decided to go out into the basin and check a few things out.

Biking in front of the Inn I encountered a coyote on the biketrail. It skittered off toward Old Faithful. Castle was in eruption, and defintely a major. We stayed there for a while, as even though the moon was only a quarter, there were nice moonbows in the steam.

Down at Fan & Mortar, we found that it still hadn't erupted. Riverside was also in eruption, so we briefly illuminated it from the bridge.

Then off to Grand. Where it had a delay that insured that the eruption would be after the moon set. So we provided our own illumination for a nice two burst eruption.

The next morning we overslept a bit, waking up when Grand was almost in the eruption window. It was a cool, overcast morning, and we didn't miss the eruption which went on the first Turban eruption after we arrived. On the Fan & Mortar where it still hadn't erupted. The sky threatened to rain, but never did more than a few drops.

The day at Fan & Mortar was the same as the previous few days-- no events, nothing to get excited about. It's almost like the geyser has gone dormant, or the next event is going to be the eruption event.

I'd already decided that tomorrow was going to be the day where I was going to start spending time in the Bijou Cage. None too soon, as there was some sort of minor hot period mid-afternoon. Probably just an eruption of Feather, as the runoff areas of both Mastiff and the Southwest Vents were mostly dry where there were definite puddles on the platform

Out for Grand at sunset for a moonlight eruption. That's when get yet another delay for the day. This time, the Turban interval was over 40 minutes, with audible boops from Grand around the 37 minute mark. Around the same time, the call came from Fan & Mortar that it was finally having some sort of event. As the delay wait continued, the event to the north kept getting better.

Grand erupted on the second Turban and I cleared out right as the eruption ended. I'd just gotten onto my bike at Castle when the call that "Upper Mortar is erupting" came through. So I missed the start, but did get down for most of the eruption. The moon was high and just past quarter, so it was well illuminated even when the spotlights were off.

This means that for the first two weeks we've been here, there have been five eruptions of the big geysers we wanted to see. All have been in the dark.

July 21, 2018

Observations for 20 July 2018

Another dull day where nothing much happened. Fan & Mortar didn't erupt overnight, and never made any attempt to erupt the rest of the day. While I'd like to see it, it appears there's not much reason to over-invest time in it. A couple of One Burst Grand eruptions and a nice Beehive eruption completed the day.

It also appears that the Giant signs still haven't been put back.

Then, late in the day, it was discovered that those waiting at Norris were seeing really good activity. The previous plan was to go there on Sunday, but with this new, we intended to get there before dawn on Saturday.

Unfortunately, New Crater/Steamboat had other ideas, and erupted a bit before midnight.

July 20, 2018

Observations for 19 July 2018

Today was a day to ignore New Crater/Steamboat. I gave it yesterday, but after several days of spending all day in the Bijou Cage, I needed a break. So it was personal matters and a couple of one burst Grand eruptions.

Did spend some time at Fan & Mortar, but they never looked good. With the lengthening interval, I did get sucked down into some extremely minor activity that I would normally ignore, but didn't want to miss it.

With most the geyser gazers gone to Norris, the Upper Basin is a very different place. The radio is mostly silent. There wasn't much of a crowd at either a late morning Grand or, as the photo shows, a mid-afternoon Beehive. The smaller crowds seems to indicate that it's gazers who cause the crowds at both places. Which is a bit ironic since there's a group of gazers who go out of there way to encourage visitors to gather at both geysers, while others (and sometimes the same people) complain about the crowding.

The time for moonlight Grand eruptions has begun, so we went out for the midnight Grand. Only one burst, as usual, but even with a quarter moon, we could see faint moonbows in the runoff channel steam.

I've updated the posting for 17 July 2018 to include a couple of photos of where two of the Giant Platform signs ended up. During the previous Giant activity, the signs used to get put back the same day, if not at the end of the eruption itself.

July 19, 2018

Observations for 18 July 2018

So after about 2-1/2 hours sleep, we headed to Norris. It was light, but because of the rains the previous day, the route was foggy the whole way there. At Norris, we learned that the activity for New Crater/Steamboat had improved since the previous day, but still wasn't up to the standard of the June eruption preliminaries.

There was a lot of water being put out by the South vent, reminding me of the floods we had seen back in May. After a couple of hours, it even that had regressed. Where we had been seeing some moderate concerted activity, by about 10:00 it seemed like either north or south, but not both, at least at the start. And the flood wasn't happening any more.

Things stayed that way until about 15:30, when the minor play started to pick up again. We left around 17:00. While we were getting floods down the runoff, the activity of the North vent seemed to be mostly unchanged.

After getting back to the Upper Basin, we got sucked into a weak Fan & Mortar event.

July 18, 2018

Observations for 17 July 2018

Updated: 2018 Jul 19: Added photos of where the signs ended up.

It's been a decade since I last spent time in the Bijou Cage in the dark. With all the noise coming from Giant, it can be hard to tell what Bijou is doing. But after a while, I got used to catching the faint sound of Bijou stopping. Caught the end of a Grotto eruption (no Rocket) and then had to wait out the interval until the next Grotto start. Right after that happened, I got the expected weak Feather-only Hot Period. Then it was back in to get some sleep.

Woke up to the sound of rain. Looked at a weather map and it showed that the main band was an hour away. This was all well before I had planned to be out again for the next hot period, one I expected to be really good. So waited where it was dry before heading out. The weather map said that there was another band coming in the next hour, but it never materialized.

Up at Norris, New Crater/Steamboat was starting to look good, so most of the basin was deserted.

At Giant Bijou had a fairly long pause of about 3 minutes just before Grotto started. During that eruption, there were frequent short pauses and slowdowns. After the hour and a half Grotto, which ended with a Rocket eruption, the slowdowns continued for the next hour, until 10:19, when we finally got a true pause. Water appeared in Mastiff within a couple of minutes, but it wasn't until five minutes into the pause before Feather started. The hot period then progressed fairly rapidly, with all the platform vents in action at some point. (At least it seemed that way.) Feather never quit, but did drop as Bijou restarted.

At that point, Giant started surging and Feather rose back to full height. There were several heavy surges in Giant, at least one that looked like it should have been the start of the eruption. But after a couple of minutes, the activity died down. By that time the Bijou cage was full of everyone who hadn't (or couldn't) go to Norris, there was a lot of disappointment. It was the best hot period up to that point, though. So good that Norris gained more gazers willing to make the drive there.

The past few days we have been having alternating hot periods. A good one, like the one we had just witnessed. Then about 6 to 8 hours later there would be a short eruption of just Feather, with none of the other vents in action. The major hot periods were coming about 16 to 22 hours apart. (I'd noticed this sort of pattern during the previous leadup to the 05 July eruption). So my plan was to return to the cage in about 5 hours and wait for the next weak one, then come out in the early morning hours the next day for the hot period that could result in an eruption.

I returned to the cage around 14:00. At 15:38 Grotto erupted. About 20 minutes in, Bijou had a long pause (5m52) where water was visible in Mastiff, but nothing much else happened. Grotto lasted a little over an hour, ending with Rocket. There were no more pauses until almost an hour after Grotto ended, when a similar 6 minute pause happened.

By then, had experienced a short rain shower, for which I wasn't totally prepared. So far, these long pauses were followed by at least an hour of Bijou splashing, so I decided to take advantage and go back to the cabin and be prepared for the next shower.

I arrived back to alternating short pauses and slowdowns until a third long pause two hours after the previous. By now I realized I needed to change plans. It had been nine hours since the hot period, and no minor. No idea how long it might be, or if it would even happen. So I returned one more time to change into my nighttime cold clothes.

About an hour after the previous long pause, Bijou had a sort of intermediate one, lasting 3m40s. With the Southwest Vents active, this was the first activity of the afternoon meriting a radio call. Shortly afterward, Grotto started again.

Then nothing. The first slowdown may have happened about 2-1/2 hours later, but it was hard to tell in the dark. Grotto was still active. At this point I was not about to leave. In years past, this sort of behavior-- Bijou continuously erupting for hours -- was a really good sign of an imminent eruption. (Or at least a major hot period). Grotto not wanting to stop (or be stopped by Rocket) also seemed good.

Suzanne had been at Norris all day, and arrived back at the cabin just as I made the radio call for the pause. Because she had gotten ready for going out in the dark, she decided to continue on to Grand on the chance that I would have gone there for a few Turbans. But I wasn't there, so eventually she bailed out on a long interval and joined me in the Cage. Upon hearing about the Bijou/Grotto behavior, despite the coldness, she didn't want to leave either.

Five minutes before midnight, Bijou finally paused. Grotto was still active. Even with the bright flashlight, we couldn't determine if Mastiff was showing water. After a couple of minutes, the Southwest Vents finally started erupting, and that was good enough to start sending out another radio call. By then it looked like Mastiff was near overflow.

Things started getting a little hectic when Feather started at midnight. Almost immediately its satellite began. Then several of the other platform vents. We could tell that Mastiff was pouring off water, even though we couldn't see what it was doing through the fog. Feather never really tried to stop. Finally, only 6 minutes into the hot period, Giant had a huge surge. Moments later, it had another one, this one up to the top of the cone. The third surge was higher, and didn't stop. Suddenly Giant began to climb, and the eruption started. And the wind direction was toward the cage.

And that's when the real fun began. Because I was trying to take notes and talk into the radio, I was juggling too many different things (radio, phone, notebook, pen, red flashlight). I shoved things into pockets without thinking, then tried to move to a location where I might see something illuminated by the super-powerful flashlight. That's when I remember that we still had our packs and blankets and other stuff still on the benches in the cage. Too late, they were soaked. We moved them well back on the boardwalk, getting drenched in the process, and that when the real horror hit. I couldn't find my phone.

It's hard to enjoy a nighttime eruption when you can only hear it and when you think you have done something incredibly stupid. Instead of trying to watch the eruption, we repeatedly scanned the area looking for the phone without success for far too long. Finally I realized that my watch, tied to the phone, was still working, no matter where I was. That mean I had to be carrying it. I finally realized that it was in a pocket that I have never, ever used for any geyser gazing instrument (just my wallet). My relief finally allowed me to enjoy what was left of the eruption.

The radio call, at least, wasn't a waste of time. Several people heard it and got out to see the start, or got there early in the eruption. Maybe ten or a dozen in all.

The eruption was noisy and wet. The boardwalk as far as Grotto was soaked, as were our bikes tied up on the recently appearing bike rack. The bright flashlight, thanks to an extra battery pack, was the one thing that worked right, as it never dimmed. We were able to see the ending of the eruption pretty well because of it. The Giant sign had rolled well down the runoff, on the far side near to Turtle. The highly reflective "Keep Off" also rolled down several terraces. There was also a bit of the "catfish" or "low tide" smell as more plantlife got cooked.

Grotto quit sometime during the eruption.

For most of the eruption, we didn't feel the cold (and wet). The excitement, despite my problems, took care of that. But we still had to bike back to the cabin. I found that my bike light needed a recharge, so I had to rely on Suzanne's on the way back. In the cabin, we spent the better part of an hour taking apart our packs to dry things out.

That's when the horrible night hit Suzanne. She discovered that her needlepoint instructions (something she hadn't worked on since the previous Giant activity in 2007) had become wet. And so did her phone. It would no longer charge up. (That problem is going to last for a while, as so far all our attempts to fix it haven't worked.)

So while we did see another eruption of Giant, our first in 11 years, it is a bit hard to be happy about the experience. I think it's going to take a daylight eruption, with lots of gazers present, to make this one a bit more bearable, and turn it into something to laugh about.

July 17, 2018

Observations for 16 July 2018

Another day of getting up early in order to spend the day in the Bijou Cage. It was an overcast day, with lightning in the clouds to the north. Turns out not quite early enough, as the call that a hot period was starting was made as I passed the Inn. It ended up being another of those short, weak ones with only Feather active. So after a while, I headed back in to get a bite to eat and prepare for a long wait.

Which it was. I did manage to fit in a Grand eruption, but otherwise is was a long day of long pauses and Bijou slowdowns. Finally, a bit over twelve hours after the previous hot period, there was another long, vigorous one. It seemed like Giant never really tried hard to erupt, unfortunately, as there were only a few surges that looked like they could sustain and build.

That activity did come at the right time, as a band of thunderstorms was building to the west. Headed back in expecting rain, but we never got any. Just lots of lightning and thunder.

July 16, 2018

Observations for 15 July 2018

Got out to Giant at 03:15. Grotto was in eruption, and there had been some long Bijou pauses, but no Feather activity. The weak hot period the previous evening may have had an effect, in that the interval here between Giant eruption attempts was almost 22 hours, putting it after dawn. This hot period was even stronger that the one the previous day. This time feature never quit, so there wasn't a really a restart. Cave Vent and a lot of the other sputs were stronger than before, too. But once again, while the surging in Giant was nice, it didn't result in an eruption.

The hot period came at the right time, too. Had come out dressed for the cold and dark, but by then it was clear and rapidly getting warmer. Stripped down as much as possible, but still a bit overdressed for the occasion. The back going back to the cabin was stuffed full of all the nighttime gear, including flashlights. Also, hadn't brought any food, so was really getting hungry.

After another one burst Grand eruption, and lunch, went back to the Bijou Cage. Was thinking that there might be an interesting followup to the hot period. And there was. Wanted to get there for the start of Grotto, but it was already in eruption. But about an hour and a half after I arrived, there was a weak, Feather-only hot period that lasted 1m22s. By that time Grotto had been in eruption about 1h40m, so I went over to see if I could catch the end.

While sitting there, suddenly there was a puff of steam from behind the trees to the north. Not Riverside, but it was Spa. Got down there in time to see that the water was just starting to head down the runoff channel, so what we saw was probably the first burst. Watched the activity there for about an hour. Finally there was a Rocket major eruption, and Grotto shut down. The duration was nearly three hours.

The last activity of the day was supposed to be Grand. It had a short 7m20s first burst, but of course followed that up with a long second burst. Of interest was that Vent and Turban didn't even quit after that. So time to get some sleep.

Wanted to get out in the dark well before dawn to try and catch the next hot period. Didn't work out that way. Instead had just fallen asleep when hear the call that Feather had just started. There wasn't any call about Mastiff being full, so that meant little time to get down basin. I had arranged my gear just in case there was such a call, so was able to quickly get ready and head out. Hearing that Feather was restarted as I passed by the Inn got me moving just a little faster. Got down to the curve by Oblong when I heard that Feather had quit again. So I didn't see anything, but was able to learn that it was possible for me to get from the cabin to a point where I could see the start. (And I learned that I was really overdressed for such concentrated exertion.

July 15, 2018

Observations for 14 July 2018

Out at dawn to wait for the next Giant Hot Period. I expected it to be late in the morning, but wasn't about to take chances when there was no good reason to not be there. As it turned out, I was pretty much right, as we got the expected hot period at 11:55. As far as I could tell, the only difference from last night was it started a little slower, with Mastiff taking its usual two minutes to rise.

I also skipped the Grand eruption at 10:15. Turns out it had two bursts, which was a bit annoying. I played the odds and lost. But still the right decision, as there no point in seeing yet another one burst Grand in the middle of the day in the middle of a crowd.

Later in the day did go to the Grand eruption. It didn't have an official delay, but the one burst eruption was preceeded by a good 15 to 20 seconds of booping. I really thought that it would fail to erupt, and we'd have to wait several more Turban intervals.

While having dinner, there was a short, weak hot period that wasn't quite expected. Not sure what to make of it, other than a guess that it might delay the next, strong one.

That was about it for the day. Did go to Grotto a little later, trying to see Rocket, but it turned into a long eruption instead, and finally gave up to prepare for tomorrow's Giant wait.

July 14, 2018

Observations for 13 July 2018

Having Fan & Mortar erupt during the night was disappointing. But the intervals have shortened nicely, and that means several more opportuities this month.

But the day was spent waiting at Giant. There was a weak hot period in the middle of the day, and then a strong one in the early evening. That one was a classic Feather Restart, with lots of nice surging from Giant at that point, some filling the cone. But nothing came of it.

At sunset, Grand had an extremely long Turban interval. It was at least 25 minutes from the time we arrived. During that time Grand booped, and the duration for the Turban eruption was well over 7 minutes. That was right at sunset, and it would have been an eruption with nice rainbows. But Grand managed to delay only one interval, while it was still light.

And then we returned to the cabin just in time for a radio announcement that Beehive's Indicator was in eruption. Turns out no one was out on Geyser Hill, so it was up to the webcam viewers and operators to let people know to get out there. We headed right out, but Beehive was already erupting as we crossed the bridge

July 13, 2018

Observations for 12 July 2018

Today Grand decided that it needed to put in some longer intervals. Had no intention of going out in the middle of the night, so relieved to discover that would have had to wait a couple of extra hours, until dawn. In the middle of the day the interval was almost as long, which allowed a huge accumulation of people.

Again, another day of waiting for Giant. At least there was a hot period during the night, and then another one near sunset. I didn't see that one, but nice to know that they can happen more than once a day. In this case, appeared to be about 16 to 18 hours between them, which seems to fit the pattern established during the buildup to the last eruption.

July 12, 2018

Observations for 11 July 2018

Got to see a complete Bulger's Hole eruption and record the whole thing. I'd like to upload the video, but I don't want to use of all my allocation, and the service here is so slow it might take way too long. It'll just have to wait until I get home.

Otherwise, it was another day waiting down by Giant. No hot periods or even bathtubs, just a 6 minute long pause about an hour after the start of Grotto.

July 11, 2018

Observations for 10 July 2018

The morning had several bits of weirdness while waiting for the dawn Grand eruption. First there was the coyote that wandered past west of the boardwalk at Grand heading for Churn. Then a bit later it was a woman and two young boys visible from Grand on the other bank of the Firehole River. They were investigating one of the warm seeps next to the river, before they headed back to the trail. Mama and her cubs.

Almost immediately there were tourists reporting a real grizzly bear and cub next to the trail just north of Lion. Fortunately, they were not seen again. Do wish they would go elsewhere.

Spent more time down at Giant during the morning, and was rewarded with a long series of Bijou slowdowns every 15 minutes. In the afternoon, it was a long Grotto eruption with more slowdowns

Today had the potential for being a Five Grand Day. It started out nicely with a two burst eruption only 23 minutes after midnight. But the chance slipped away when the second eruption of the day had a two-Turban delay. The third had the type of interval needed. Despite a long delay, Grand erupted on the next Turban for an interval just under six hours.

So we didn't get 5 Grand eruptions, but the eruptions we did get were a nice representation of the good conditions for viewing Grand. The dark nighttime eruption, the dawn eruption, the warm middle of the day eruption, and finally the sunset eruption.

July 10, 2018

Observations for 09 Jul 2018

Time to get reacquainted with Giant. Spent a few hours in the Monkey Cage. After a few quick, short pauses, there was 5-1/2 minute bathtub as Grotto started. Then after that, nothing. I was expecting the pause to resume after Grotto ended less than an hour later, but all I got for the next hour were Bijou slowdowns.

July 09, 2018

Observations for 08 Jul 2018

First up was Bulger's Hole. It was observed to fill and bubble a bit well into a major eruption of Bulger. After the morning Grand eruption, about 40 minutes later, I saw Bulger erupting again. I got down there and saw that it looked like another major. As we were standing there, the Hole filled with water to about 1 foot below the rim, then started splashing well above the rim. The duration was only a few seconds, and then the hole drained. But Suzanne, Ben Hoppe and I got to see the first activity there since 2011.

I liked to think that this activity is related to the deeper fluctuations in Sawmill Group. A little bit later I noticed that the water level had dropped such that a bank about 10cm wide of the orange slime lining the vent was exposed. This is much more fluctuation than last year, based on how that orange band wouldn't be exposed otherwise. I would hope that this, along with Bulger's Hole, are signs that changes in the Group, and reactivation, are possible this summer.

Then it was the Suicide Bride's turn. Down by South Scalloped a woman in a wedding dress decided to get up close to that spring. I yelled down, and she did get back on the trail. An Asian couple (of course). Turns out I wasn't there first encounter with getting caught. During the wait for Beehive I was told that they'd also been seen wandering loose between Morning and Fountain, and off trail at Midway. If I'd have known, I would've tried to get Law Enforcement involved.

I also need to remember that I do have a camera, and to record stupid incidents like this.

The evening Grand could've gone while it was still light, but it had to have a two Turban delay, resulting in the longest interval in about 10 days. At least there were two bursts, breaking a long string on one burst eruptions.

July 08, 2018

Observations for 07 July 2018

Arrived for an extended stay during the afternoon after an uneventful drive. It's so much nicer to be able to avoid evening traffic leaving Denver and not having to drive from Moran Jct in the dark. This time that part of the drive was in the early afternoon, and at both checkpoints into Grand Teton and Yellowstone, I managed to get into the fasted moving lanes.

After decompressing the contents of the truck, went out to see Fan & Mortar let us know that it was ready to erupt in the dark, and then a one-burst Grand. Actually kind of nice knowing that nothing much happening for a few days. One thing I found in years past was that for longer stays, there's not the pressure to see everything. There's going to be lots of down time and periods of boredom.

So while here, I will try to post observations and info as I did in years past. May not be everyday, but should be enough items of interest-- New Crater/Steamboat, Giant, Fan & Mortar, and now Sawmill Group?-- to keep from being too repetitious.

July 05, 2018

GeyserLog 2.2.3

GeyserLog 2.2.3 should now be available in the Apple App Store.

This release is another set of bug and crash fixes and display improvements.