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August 31, 2018

Observations for 30 August 2018

As I commented yesterday, the sameness of the hot periods continued. Went out in the dark and at a little over 7 hours got another in what would be a series of increasingly disappointing hot periods.

They were coming more frequently, with the one before midnight having an interval of about 5-3/4 hours. The surging in Mastiff seemed similar, but it was when Feather quit that things worsened most. Giant was showing less surging each time, and the pause before the restart was getting longer and then the restart itself was getting shorter. Not sure what it all means, but it's becoming disappointing.

The weather was much improved. Which the first hot period in the morning was in the freezing dark, for the daylight ones it was bright and sunny and almost hot. Except when there were clouds, and then the cool air temperature became obvious. The wait for the one before midnight was actually more pleasant because there was a layer of clouds obscuring the rising half moon.

Because my priority has been to wait for Giant, I've not seen many One Burst Grand eruptions this trip. And lately the intervals between the two have been about the same. So the nice thing about the day was that they were so out of phase that I finally got to see a couple. One of them was even a two burst eruption.

August 30, 2018

Observations for 29 August 2018

After last night, I decided that six hours was the magic interval. The temperature was well below freezing (the weather site said 29°F, but because it was a dry night, there wasn't much frost. I arrived at the cage at 04:30, and I timed it pretty well. At 05:04 there was a fairly strong hot period, with feather restarting, but again, not much surging in Giant. It was just starting to get light, but I could still go back in and get a couple more hours sleep.

Four hours seemed a good bet for the next opportunity, so was out there well in advance. Bijou was having short pauses about a minute long every 20 minutes or so. Nothing changed when Grotto started, but within seconds of the start of Rocket, Bijou paused and within a minute water was visible in Mastiff. This was another one of those weaker hot periods, where we got Feather's Satellite, but no overflow or surging in Mastiff.

The hot period was quite strong, until it was time for Giant to start surging. Despite what appeared to be a high water level, it never seemed to try to start erupting. It was amusing after the hot period was over because there were several vertical surges that were probably higher than anything during the hot period.

After the hot period, about 70 minutes later, activity from the Southwest vents was observed. Don't know if this was unusual, or normal. No one really hangs around Giant for several hours after a hot period, so this might be normal. In any case, I waited around a bit, and about an hour later there was a normal 1m39s Bijou pause. About the same time interval after that was a report of water in Mastiff. So not sure what was going on there.

Did get a real strong hotperiod about when expected, at 23:04 for a little under 7 hour interval. It looked like the last few hot periods, and we are starting to get a sameness to all of them. The most telling part is how Giant just does not seem to do any strong surging, and what surges it does have are later, after a lot of wasted effort.

The last couple of nights I've heard an owl off in the trees across the river from the cabins. I've heard another one over north of Castle on occasion, too.

August 29, 2018

Observations for 28 August 2018

This day started overcast, foggy, cold, and damp. But it was still more pleasant than the previous day.

Got to the cage in time for another Southwest Vents Bathtub. But I never did see the water level in Mastiff, I only inferred it from the fact that I couldn't hear Bijou and the vents were erupting. It was that foggy.

Then, like the previous day, it was a four hour wait for the hot period. This one was even weaker than before. Feather really tried hard to not restart, but eventually it did. During that Giant made a few half-hearted attempts at surging, but never anything to get excited about.

By that time, the day had warmed up to would be nice in October. Later in the afternoon there was time to catch a One Burst Grand, from where I saw a long Bijou pause. So it wasn't surprising that when I was in the cage an hour later, there was a minor, Feather-only hot period.

I had to figure out when to head out during the night. I decided that the second Grotto eruption would be the best time, and set my alarm for 01:00 in order to be out there in plenty of time. So had just turned out the lights in the cabin when we heard Tara start announcing a hot period. Lost that bet, but kinda glad since I would've been sitting in the cold and dark for several hours when nothing would be happening.

The hot period, despite the sort interval, turned out to be pretty strong. We got there just as the surging in Giant started. Unfortunately, the surging wasn't very strong. On the way back, Castle was in eruption, to did stick around to enjoy the moonlight illumination until the steam phase started.

August 28, 2018

Observations for 27 August 2018

The day was cold and miserable, with occasional clearing up so that it was only unpleasant.

About a half hour after arriving in the cage there was a Mastiff bathtub with Southwest vent activity. After the usual hour long activity, Bijou started having short (45s-1m20s) pauses every 12 to 14 minutes or so. This continued for the next four hours, with a single longer pause (2m08s) about halfways through.

We finally got our strong hot period, probably the first since the previous day, at 13:18. This wasn't as strong as the previous, and featured a restart that didn't have much in the way of Giant surging. Never thought that it would result in an eruption.

The rest of the day was devoted to indoor activities knowing that there wouldn't be any geyser-related interruptions, like preparing a decent meal. Didn't try for the evening Grand eruption because it was pouring rain about then.

August 27, 2018

Observations for 26 August 2018

Day started out poorly with rain and a call that Fan & Mortare were erupting.

The rain quit within an hour, but that mean the wind was picking up. And ended up being worse that the last few days. At times, on the bike trail, it was like going uphill even when it was actually downhill.

Got out to Giant just as a Feather-only hot period started. So it looked like there was no reason to be out in the basin for several hours. A good time to fix breakfast and get some other defered tasks done. I planned to get back in about 5 hours or so, based on previous hot period intervals.

As it turned out, that was a bit optimistic. Someone saw another weak hot period about 3-1/2 hours later. (And not only never made a radio announcement, but logged it in a way as to obscure that fact.)

So instead of heading back to the platform, went to Grand instead. RIght after sitting down in the usual area, I saw a badger approaching the boardwalk from the west. It got nearer, then suddenly changed direction and headed south, toward Bulger. Eventually it crossed the boardwalks near Bulger, where there weren't people, and headed off into the trees behind Rift. That was the first badger I've ever seen there.

Also while waiting for Grand, someone lost a dollar bill to the wind and it ended up in the runoff channel. It went unclaimed when it was finally rescued during the eruption.

The One Burst Grand eruption lasted 13m14s, following false pause at around the 11 minute mark. Afterwards, I finally got to see Old Tardy in eruption. It looks like it's trying to make a new runoff east of the walkway, killing some grass. Probably the buildup from the slime due to Crystal being in near constant overflow allows this.

Back at Giant where we spend three hours in the wind, with Bijou stopping from 45 to 65 seconds every 11 to 13 minutes. It really did seem like it was waiting for the next Grotto eruption.

Finally about 6 hours after the previous Grotto, we got a pause that lasted longer. Almost immediately water was visible in Mastiff. Feather came on about 3 minutes into the pause, which was much quicker that all the weak hot periods I've seen the past few days. A minute and a half later, Mastiff started to overflow, and Cave began erupting.

This was a strong hot period, one in which Giant could've erupted. Feather never quit. Mastiff was boiling up to 1.5 meters at times. The water level in Giant was high, and there were several surges higher than the cone, pouring out water. But when that surging continued without an eruption, it became obvious that we weren't going to get an eruption. Feather itself finally died out about 16 minutes after it started.

After that, it was time for Grand again. It was a long interval, finally erupting in the dark. This was due to a Turban interval where Grand booped about a meter high and delayed the eruption for two Turban intervals.

Just before the Grand boop, I looked down basin and saw a huge amount of steam at Oblong. This increased and the we saw water surging. With the wind and cold, it was hard to tell if that was really the start, but in any case, I did manage to see several large surges, and the whole eruption lasted several minutes. Earlier this summer there have been eruptions of Oblong after Giant, so this was acting like the strong hot period we'd seen 3-1/2 hours earlier was an eruption. Or else Oblong wants to become Giant's indicator.

There's a cold storm coming in during the night, so made no plans to go out and try to catch the next hot period. Expect that will probably be the one that leads to an eruption. On the other hand, earlier this season it's been about 16 to 20 hours between strong ones, so maybe will get to see Giant in the rain tomorrow mid-day.

August 26, 2018

Observations for 25 August 2018

Went out to put the full moon to good use, and shortly after midnight got another One Burst Grand, with Rift erupting, after a 30 minute delay.

The rest of the day was spent watching disappointing activity at Giant. Got out to the cage after seeing the morning Beehive, and it appeared that nothing much had happened overnight. At best, there may have been another Feather-only hot period about the time we were out at Grand. After several bathtub pauses from Bijou, finally got a Feather plus Feather Satellite hot period at 14:30.

Then it was bathtubs every few hours. Finally gave up at midnight after the second pause that lasted over 6 minutes.

Another cool, windy day, which can be quite tiring even though not doing much.

August 25, 2018

Observations for 24 August 2018

It's early, but I want to keep an eye on Giant in case it shortens up. But first I went down to take a look at the damage around the Riverside trail. They've torn up the old asphalt and are carting it away. I assume it will be replaced by a new and improved boardwalk which will keep people (especially the "Asian Invasion") on trail, or at least not provide excuses for wandering around loose.

At Fan & Mortar, I would have gotten excited if it were not just a day and a half since the last eruption. Fan was completely quiet, except for frequent splashing from Main Vent. Not just little spits, but thick, miniaturized versions of what people like to see at New Crater/Steamboat. And Bottom Vent was erupting enough to put out a little trickle down its runoff. I left, knowing better.

Spent several hours at Giant, interrupted by a nice One Burst Grand. Finally left Giant when I got a Feather-only hot period. Since it was less than three days since the eruption, would be nice to think that this is an indication of a short interval...

The evening was another One Burst Grand eruption, followed by another Feather-only hot period, about six hours after the previous hot period.

August 24, 2018

Observations for 23 August 2018

It was like we never left.

Two hours after checking in, we had the same cabin set up the same way as when we were here last. As just like when we left, the three major geysers had all just erupted.

But this time there was a bonus-- an eruption of Morning. So after a quick meal, we headed out to Fountain Paintpots for a wait. Finally got an eruption of Fountain in the dark that got illuminated by a couple of spotlights.

One of the reasons we returned now is so we can take advantage of the full moon. Did just that by heading out to Grand. Got a bonus as Castle was going into steamphase as we arrived, and that's one of the better times for moonbows. They were there, but a bit faint as the moon was low and a bit yellowish from the smoke haze.

August 14, 2018

Eruption of Spa Geyser, 2018

Eruption of Spa Geyser, 2018. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 13, 2018

Bulger's Hole Eruption, 2018

Eruption of Bulger's Hole, 2018. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 12, 2018

Fan & Mortar Eruption 2018 Jul 30

Eruption of Fan & Mortar Geyser, 2018 Jul 30. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 11, 2018

New Crater/Steamboat Eruption 2018 Aug 04

Eruption of New Crater/Steamboat Geyser, 2018 Aug 04. Video by H.Koenig.

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Unfortunately, it appears that the tree next to the lower platform interfered with the autofocus, so much of the video is kinda smeared and off focus. Oh, well...

August 10, 2018

GeyserLog 2.2.4

GeyserLog 2.2.4 should now be available in the Apple App Store.

Fixed all sorts of issues that I found during a month of field testing.

Giant Eruption 2018 July 24

Eruption of Giant Geyser, 2018 July 24. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 09, 2018

Fan Minor 2018 Aug 02

Minor Eruption of Fan Geyser, 2018 Aug 02. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 08, 2018

Giant Eruption 2018 Aug 03

Eruption of Giant Geyser, 2018 Aug 03. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 07, 2018

Observations for 06 August 2018

It was packing to leave day. Did see Beehive in the morning (an over 18 hour interval), then a One Burst Grand. In the afternoon walked up on an eruption of Castle.

That was folllowed by a 9-1/2 minute One Burst Grand, but at least it was a Turban start where it took Grand 1m12s to finally get going.

August 06, 2018

Observations for 05 August 2018

After all the excitement of the past few days, nothing much happened.

Went out to see a One Burst Grand where lightning started shortly before the eruption, then rain started as we were bicycling in. Went up to Beehive and waited for about an hour. Decided to leave and had just got to Bronze and Silver Springs when the Indicator was called. Later was about to head out to Grand when the rain started again. By the time it ended, Grand had erupted. A good day to rest up and get ready to head home,

August 05, 2018

Observations for 04 August 2018

Updated: 2018 Aug 11: Uploaded video at New Crater/Steamboat Eruption 2018 Aug 04.


After Giant, there was no reason to not got to Norris this morning, other than I was getting short on sleep. Left in the dark at 05:00, only saw two elk along the way, and arrived at Norris at 06:00.

We'd packed up and covered the truck and were just heading to the entrance trail when we heard Kit yelling on the radio. Seems Steamboat was having one of its huge minor eruptions, and she thought it was starting. As it turned out, it came close, but no eruption. Good thing too.

For the next eight hours, there were a few minors, but nothing to get too excited about. It was a cool, windy day, with occasional clouds. Then, after a lull of several hours, at 14:10, there was a sudden surge in activity, and within moments, we had an eruption.

It was a bit windy, but blowing away from us. Toward the parking lot. The north then climbed quickly, while the south never came close to matching it. Comparing this eruption to the one on 27 May, this one didn't seem as tall, but was definitely more powerful. We had to shout at each other. The water column of the north vent also never turned reddish brown. It did look dirty at times. With the wind, I would suppose that much of the water was carried beyond the local watershed which feeds back into the north vent.

Another difference was that it was harder to tell when the water phase ended. An hour later there was still a small stream of water coming out of the southernmost part of the south vent. It was my impression that within 15 minutes the columns had lost all their height and were mostly steam.

The platforms were packed almost from the start. That there was a ranger talk being given at the top platform contributed to that, too.

Later on finally got down to take a look at the runoff. It was a lot less than the previous eruption I've seen, which supports the contention that there wasn't as much water. (Or that a lot more of it was being tossed onto the trees and parking.)

The car cover I bought specifically for use at Norris worked perfectly. We got back to a dry lot, but there were lots of vehicles covered with white residue. I saw one Ford F150 pickup that used to be black, but now was a sort of matte-finished gray. Including the windows.

Did go out for the last Grand eruption of the day. It was a nice two burst, but the wind picked up just before the eruption started, so impossible to see the start of Turban or Vent.

On the way out, heard the screech of an owl that was sitting in one of the dead trees in the Castle runoff. Could hear it over at Grand, too.

August 04, 2018

Observations for 03 August 2018

Updated: 2018 Aug 08: Uploaded video at Giant Eruption 2018 Aug 03.


After another hot period around midnight, at dawn it was again time to head back out to the Bijou Cage. There were frequent pauses lasting about a minute every 12 to 15 minutes until about a half hour after Grotto started. Then we got another moderately strong hot period, but once again, there wasn't much surging after the restart. Shortly after, we had another Rocket major eruption.

About seven hours later we had a similiar buildup, but this time the hot period consisted of just Feather and Feather's Satellite. At three minutes in duration, this was one step above the solo Feather hot periods. But it seemed to be a good sign, because the past few days we'd have gotten one of the medium strength hot periods at this point.

A few hours later, shortly before time to head back out, it was really disappointing to hear on the radio that Fan & Mortar were in eruption. Annoying because was lounging around the cabin waiting to head out to Giant. Didn't want to go too early, as was going with full nighttime gear, which would be bulky, heavy and warm.

Again came out to an eruption of Rocket followed by a series of short, half-minute long pauses every 12 to 15 minutes or so. After two hours of this, and six hours after the previous hot period, we finally got a longer pause.

This hot period started out slow, but as it built, it just seemed stronger than all the others had been seeing the past week. Mastiff's surging was taller and wider. There wasn't a restart, and when Giant started surging, the water level seemed higher.

The wind, so annoying during the day, was now perfect. It moved all the steam out of view, yet didn't seem to limit the height of Giant's water column. I wasn't able to measure the height, but it seemed much higher than the previous, day-time eruption I saw a week ago.

The use of two high-power flashlights made the eruption easily visible. And because it was at night, it was easy to move around and enjoy the eruption both close up and well back on the walkway. The light reflected from the water column was illuminating the ground as far back as the bike trail. It also attracted a family who saw the light show and joined the six of us on the platform for that latter half of the eruption.

Grotto finally started erupting right after Giant ended.

This morning I saw something new and different. An RV that had parked in the red "no parking" zone by the Lodge, and in front of a hydrant, was being ticketed.

August 03, 2018

Observations for 02 August 2018

Updated: 2018 Aug 09: Uploaded video at Fan Minor 2018 Aug 02.


Went out after midnight for the next hot period and managed to miss all sorts of geysers.

Didn't know it at the time, but Oblong erupted just before we arrived at the Bijou Cage. In the short while we were there, Grand and Beehive erupted (we did see the first), then shortly after we left, it was Castle's turn.

One piece of entertainment was finding a rental car parked next to the bike trail in front of the Inn. I contacted the NPS to report it, but it was still there when we returned to the Cage in daylight.

In the morning, was surprised to get a second minor Feather-only hot period. The timing fit, but the type of eruption didn't. That again reset things for a while.

Just before time to head back again, at Fan & Mortar, we saw something I have never seen before-- a Fan minor eruption. The buildup was identical to a full Fan & Mortar eruption, but once we got to the stage where High vent was erupting continuously to 15 feet or more, it just stayed that way for about 10 minutes. The end came suddenly, and within a minute, the vents looked the way it does as a cycle is dying down. Once again, will post some video once I leave the land of the cloud.

Then it was back to the Cage, where, instead of a long wait, almost immediately there was a medium-strong hot period. This time, there was some strong surging in Giant, and the water level looked to be better than previous times, but that activity came late in the restart, and obviously didn't result in the desired eruption. This was the shortest interval between hot periods I've seen this trip, 3h20m. Makes estimating the time to return even harder.

Turns out the Grotto eruption that started before this last hot period was still going, 5-1/2 hours later. The first mini-Marathon of the interval, and again, of my stay. When I arrived back around 18:30, Bijou looked a lot like it used to look after a marathon. It was in a perpetual slowdown punctuated by occasional short pauses. This activity continued for about three hours until there was a 2m50 second pause. It was shortly before that that Bijou regained its strength. In the dark, it made pauses easier to notice.

Pauses now came about every 12 minutes. Shortly before midnight, Grotto started. At 55 minutes into that eruption, at 00:51, well after midnight, we finally got the expected hot period. At 00:55, it was ten minutes over twelve from the previous one. This one looked a lot like the previous ones, the major difference being that Feather never quit. Once again, only once or twice did the surging in Giant look anything like it was trying to start, and these surges came after a lot of splashing.

August 02, 2018

Observations for 01 August 2018

Came out before midnight for the next expected hot period. This one began a half hour after midnight, and about ten minutes after a Grotto start. And it was another 7-1/2 hour interval. The strength was comparable to the previous day's events, including the lack of any strong Giant surging. The one surprising thing was that shortly after the end, Rocket erupted. So in this case, the hot period was associated with both the start and end of a Grotto eruptions.

In the morning, I finally did witness a long, 6 minute pause in Bijou. About three hours later, there was another one. In both cases, there was nothing else happening other than water visible low in Mastiff. Between the two, starting about an hour after the first pause, were a series of short pauses and slowdowns again.

An hour after the second long pause we got a hot period, one that appaeared much like all the other medium strength we'd see. The interval here was 10 hours.

I went back out at the 6 hour mark. (In part, because there wasn't an available table in Lower Ham's, which cause me to have to delay my first burger of the trip.) For almost three hours there was a series of short pauses and slowdowns. The hot period took place at the 7-1/2 hour mark, and if anything, was weaker than the previous two of the day.

August 01, 2018

Observations for 31 July 2018

Another morning arriving at the Giant platform to find that nothing had happened there overnight. After an hour's worth of regular short Bijou pauses, we got the expected hot period. This was another medium of the restart variety. Medium because while most of the vents were active, Giant just didn't seem to show any evidence that it could erupt. There wasn't much surging, and what there was came from down deep. There was even some strong surges that were left to right, pouring out water and meaning nothing.

Another feature of this hot period was that it wasn't related to the start or end of Grotto, but came an hour and a quarter before Grotto started.

Four hours later, from Grand I saw a long Bijou pause, which it turns out did have some Southwest Vent activity. After that, the Bijou again had a series of short pauses and slowdowns until a hot period started at the same time that Rocket began. It too was "medium".

WIth this hot period, it appeared that Giant was shifting modes. Instead of a strong one followed 6 hours later by a weak Feather-only and then 10 or so hours later by another strong, we were starting to get these medium ones about 6-1/2 to 8-1/2 hours apart.