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September 25, 2018

2018 Geyser Hill Disturbance

Geyser Hill Disturbance, 2018 September 16-19. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 24, 2018

Giant Eruption 2018 September 17

Eruption of Giant Geyser, 2018 September 17. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 23, 2018

New Crater Eruption for 17 September 2018

Eruption of New Crater/Steamboat Geyser, 2018 September 17. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 22, 2018

Giant Eruption 2018 September 08

Eruption of Giant Geyser, 2018 September 08. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 21, 2018

New Crater Eruption for 07 September 2018

Eruption of New Crater/Steamboat Geyser, 2018 September 07. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 20, 2018

Giant Eruption 2018 September 01

Eruption of Giant Geyser, 2018 September 01. Video by H.Koenig.

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September 19, 2018

Observations for 18 September 2018

After yesterday's activity, it was definitely a good time to leave. But first there was an interval of over 6 hours, so we got to see one final One Burst Grand, steamy and backlit.

Then off to Geyser Hill for a quick visit.

The sputtering under the boardwalk between Pump and Doublet was stronger than when I was there last, and there was steam coming out from both sides. I expect that walkway to close before my return. (And I was right, as we learned on the drive home that much of the area was now off limits. Gotta love the usual NPS overreaction.)

Pendant was drained, and what Micah wants to call Grove Geyser were both erupting to a few feet high. There still hadn't been a Lion eruption, although North Goggles was slowing down.

Ear seemed to have, at least for the short time we were there, settled into some strong heavy boiling. Several of the loose sinter sheet sections had dislodged and that seemed to help lower Ear's water level a bit.

Over by the boardwalk to Solitary was a strange little feature putting brownish, murky water up a foot and onto the trail occasionally.

Will be interesting to see what long-terms changes are visible here when we next visit, and what happens over the winter and into next spring.

On the drive back, did almost encounter a deer running across the road just as we were approaching Owl Canyon Road. Also saw a lot of antelope along the roads between Jeffrey City and Laramie. It must be fall.

September 18, 2018

Observations for 17 September 2018

Arrived back in the cage at midnight. It wasn't quite as cold as we'd expected, but still down near freezing. After an hour and a half we got the hot period we'd been expecting. It was a strong one, that did not include a Feather restart, instead Feather stayed on for 14m23s. But no Giant eruption. More than a little disappointing.

We'd already planned on getting up at 03:00 to leave for Norris and New Crater/Steamboat. But there wasn't much point in trying to get another nap, so instead we loaded up the truck and hit the road. Driving at that time of night can be interesting, as we found out when we came across a bison jogging north just inside the right late line, just south of the exit from the Firehole Lake Drive. Really glad I was doing Pacman and not strictly staying in my lane. (I figure if I don't see the center line when I should, it's because there's something there.)

Arrived at Norris at 04:00, and learned that a set of strong minors was in progress. It turned out that we witnessed the last of that series. By then it was really cold, but we settled in to wait for dawn and a day of waiting. Some folks who arrived later said that their vehicle thermometers were in the mid to upper 20s.

At around 06:30, suddenly the four of us had a large number of companions, all there to see New Crater/Steamboat. Most of whom I had never seen before, and from the way they were talking, they were there to add another checkmark to their personal lists. The noise level got pretty intense for that time of day.

All this time, there was nothing happening other than a lot of slopping around. It wasn't until 09:30, about 5 hours after we arrived, that we saw the next minor eruption. This was followed almost immediately but several more in quick succession, culminating with an eruption of New Crater/Steamboat at 09:36. That sudden onset was just like the previous eruption we'd seen 10 days ago.

This was a powerful eruption, but what was most notable was how it was still in water phase an hour into the eruption. That's when the North Vent shut down, followed within moments by the South vent. It was absolutely quite out there. Then just as sudden, both vents exploded upward. The North Vent looked almost as tall as the start of an eruption. South Vent was as brown as North for a few seconds,

We got 4 of these shutdowns. Then, finally, the transition to pure steam started. The water columns cleared up, but every time it looked like it was pure steam, they'd throw out some spray.

The drive back was uneventful until we got to the Mary Mountain trailhead. There traffic came to a complete stop for the better part of an hour because of a bison herd near the Kaleidoscope Group. It was really frustrating because we wanted to get back to see what had happened with Giant.

Turns out, not much. A couple of weak hot periods were inferred from the resulting puddles and pools on the platform, or from dry areas. This was interesting news. As the afternoon went on, and there wasn't any event there, it started to look like we might have a chance for an eruption.

After a bathtub, I decided that we probably had at least a couple of hours until the next event. Time to head in and start packing up to leave tomorrow. But as I was riding in, it occurred to me that if Giant was setting up to erupt, it might shorten things up. So decided I should be heading back out in about one and a quarter hours. Besides, I've been consistently overestimating how much time is available between hot periods.

The call that water was rising in Mastiff came in just as I was about to head out. I wasn't sure what to expect, so I packed for a long wait, including light and multiple layers. I quickly lightened my load and headed out. I got to the Cage in plenty of time to see the start of Giant.

The conditions were almost perfect. It was a little windy, but it was in the right direction, away from the platform, and not enough to really to chop off any height. With the low sun, there was a rainbow that was a full arc, and here the wind helped by moving spray well to the north of Bijou.

Again I tried to measure the height. This time I was back on the boardwalk, but not at the marker. That meant, at least, I didn't have to force my way to far to get there (and the decreased crowds helped.) And again I got a disappointing reading: 65%, which translates into about 130feet. The scary thing is, from that perspective, I tried to compare the height to what I remember of big (150+ ft) Grand eruptions from the same distance, and it did look comparable. Not sure what to think about this. Ideally I will try next time (and I do expect a next time or two) to be exactly at the marker and try and catch the maximum starting surge.

And Fan & Mortar erupted in the morning. No one saw it, and we probably wouldn't even have known about it if Suzanne hadn't gone down there to check on it before going to Giant. She noticed that the activity there was even worse than the last few days.

September 17, 2018

Observations for 16 September 2018

Another day of Giant hot periods about 6 hours apart. With a deadline approaching, it's not welcome.

After leaving Geyser Hill, the night before, it started to rain, and the rain continued for several hours, up until midnight and time to go back out to Giant. But when it quit, the clouds quickly cleared and the sky was bright with stars. This also meant that as we left the hot period a few hours later, it was quite foggy for the entire route.

Next morning got out to Geyser Hill. The debris and wash around Ear was impressive, although for once the NPS was quick to clean up the area, so I didn't get to see al the unnatural debris that was coughed up.

Saw a number of North Goggle minor eruptions, and the grassy areas north of the boardwalk there, as well as the new runoff from Doublet are already developing that Low-Tide Smell as the grasses are being killed. Just north of Doublet itself there was a new, small murky geyser. I confirmed the activity under the boardwalk, which also included a crack to the southwest where a frying pan was breaking out.

Sponge no longer seems to erupt. Pump seemed weak, and the slime mats around it were already drying up. Pendant and Geyser Hill #5 (the feature off in the trees north of Pendant) were both erupting, as well as the slit that broke out after the 1983 earthquake under the boardwalk. Next to the Solitary trail a formerly scummy hole was erupting, too.

Lion is also not been seen since yesterday, but Little Cub seems unchanged.

When out to Giant at 21:00 with the expectation of waiting for several hours for the next hot period. Instead, arrive with Bijou already paused, which lead into a weak 4-1/2 minute Feather and Feather Satellite eruption. This was interesting, as it was starting to fit the pattern that lead up to the last Giant eruption. So went back in to get a nap and return at midnight.

September 16, 2018

Observations for 15 September 2018

Ended up waiting for four hours, until 02:00, for the next Giant hot period. This was a pretty strong one, where Feather did not have to restart, and Giant did have some, but not a lot, of surging at the right time. Because of the cold, it was impossible to see much on the platform once things got started, especially back through the Mastiff runoff. But with several of the bright lights, we could see Feather and Giant itself.

Because the duration of the previous Fountain Geyser eruption had been reported as 36 minutes, we then went out to check on Fountain and Morning. That longer duration is one of the few signs that Morning might erupt soon.

It was a slow drive because we didn't want to have any close bison encounters. Got there to find that we'd missed Fountain by at least an hour, but at least we confirmed that Morning probably didn't do anything.

It appears Giant has settled into a mode it displayed last interval-- for several days we get a moderatly strong hot period every 6 to 7 hours. In between there may be a bathtub or weak Feather-only hot period. If this is the case, then any hope for a short interval (and for an eruption before we leave) is gone.

But the big news were the massive changes to the northern third of Geyser Hill, which started with a huge eruption of Ear Spring. I was hanging around waiting for the latest Giant hot period, so I didn't get over there until dark. But it was still obvious that things were different. I saw the murky mess in and around Ear. Both vents of Doublet were erupting to several feet. There was an Aurum eruption only a few hours after the previous. And under the boardwalk between Doublet and Pump there was the sound of either a frying pan or a drain hole (hard to tell in the windy conditions). Pump itself seemed weaker.

In any case, will have to visit again in the morning when can actually see things.

September 15, 2018

Observations for 14 September 2018

After last night's strong hot period, decided that getting some sleep would be a good idea. Got back out about seven hours later and it seemed pretty clear that nothing much had happened. At best, there's been some Southwest Vents activity hours earlier. So it was just a matter of waiting.

Almost immediately we got a Bijou pause lasting about 4 minutes. Since it was time for Grand, and nothing was going to happen for about a hour, it was a good time to go there. I saw the start from near Wave Spring, very nicely backlit from that vantage point. Unfortunately, it was a short One Burst Grand.

Back at Giant, waited through a series of pauses, including one that lasted about 3-1/2 minutes. An hour later, we got what we'd been waiting for. This hot period did not have a restart. While there was some nice surging in Giant, far too much of it was just bigger versions of the normal surging, and that generally doesn't lead into an eruption.

The afternoon Grand did have a second burst. It was only a little over ten minutes long, so years ago a third burst could've been expected. Instead, Vent and Turban quit as if it had been a much longer interval.

Up to this point, about 5 hours after the hot period, it had been fairly calm. Now the winds picked up, despite the warming day. But didn't spend much time in it since the next weak hot period was right afterwards, and then missed the a stronger one a few hours later.

Coming back from the missed hot period was something different. After getting past a bison moving fairly rapidly (for a bison) from the Inn parking lot toward the Lower Store, I heard a commotion over in the Old Faithful circle. There was someone standing right out on the cone, oblivious to people, including NPS personnel, yelling at him to get back. At one point he lay down with his upper torso over the rim, and tried to climb in. Finally he wandered slowly back toward the Lodge.

I bicycled over there and caught a glimpse of him as Law Enforcement tried to make contact. He seemed in a different reality, and the facial tattoos gave the message that he'd had earlier encounters with the law. He never did cooperate, and was arrested in the Lodge parking lot. I'm sure he enjoyed coming down in the Mammoth jail.

Did a repeat at sunset, with a Grand eruption followed by a weak hot period. So went in to wait for a few hours before heading out to wait. Ended up being out there until well after midnight.

September 14, 2018

Observations for 13 September 2018

One thing we've noticed over the past few days is that Grand seems to be having more two burst eruptions. Thanks to Giant hot periods, I've missed a few of these. But a number of them have also been of the Long Second variety. The pause comes fairly early, before the 9 minute mark. But once the height of the second drops, Grand seems to go almost immediately into Big Sawmill mode.

I've thought that all the one bursts are because Grand is too strong to quit, so we never get the pauses as before. The Big Sawmill mode fits in, in that the eruption is wasting energy and water so when it does stop, it can't restart. The Long Second mode fits, as it's just weak enough to pause, but still stronger than it used to be and goes back into splashing around.

It was a day of watching Giant. The hot periods became stronger as the day progressed, with one that could've resulted in an eruption shortly after midnight. But it didn't, and we still haven't had one where there wasn't a restart.

In the cabin area the last couple of nights I've heard either an elk or a very squeaky door hinge.

September 13, 2018

Observations for 12 September 2018

Another time that we'd planned for an early trip to Norris, only to wake up and discover there's no need to go. In this case, the eruption of New Crater/Steamboat was either too late or too early. Too late in that there's no way we'd have spent over eight hours in the dark waiting for it. Too early because it erupted before we even had a chance to hit the road.

So it was a day to start watching Giant, even though the four day mark wasn't until near sunset. Got to see a fairly strong hot period around 10:30, then over seven hours later there was a fairly weak one with only Feather and its Satellite.

After dark, four hours later, we pretty much got the same hot period. With it supposed to be wet, I wasn't going to be out in the dark.

September 12, 2018

Observations for 11 September 2018

With it being really too early for both Giant and New Crater/Steamboat to erupt, it was a day to do other things. In this case, do the northern loop and visit Canyon and Mammoth. At the latter, also got a tour of the Reamer House in addition to walking the Lower Terrace loop.

Did get out for the early night One Burst Grand, just because it was fairly warm and Grand has been so predictable when it comes to intervals.

September 11, 2018

Observations for 10 September 2018

Beehive had a reasonable 15 hour interval, but a one minute indicator was enough time for me to grab what I needed and start to shut the cabin door. I just went back to what I was doing. Probably a good thing, as it was so windy that I couldn't have gotten closer than Sulphide Spring without getting drenched.

Saw two Grand eruptions. The later one was a One Burst Grand, but the first was more interesting. The first burst lasted a bit over ten minutes, which usually means that that's it. But this time the water stayed up, and even though it took a while to get going, we got a second. Then it turned into a long second, with a total duration of almost 13-1/4 minutes. It looked like Turban had quit before Grand did, and during the last minute of the eruption Vent was nothing but steam.

Spent some time watching weak activity at Fan & Mortar. It looked a lot like when it is dormant and you know the cycles aren't going to be strong and there's not going to be an eruption, no matter how good they look when Gold comes on. But during that sort time, there was quite a bit of stupidity.

First there was the European couple who not once, but twice had to get pictures of Norris Pool from beyond the railings.

Then there was the guy who sat down next to me and saw a "frog" in the formations around Mortar. He was going to show his family where it was by bending over and picking up a rock and throwing it. I stopped him before the rock flew. He insisted he wasn't going to do that, but he never once looked at the rock he did pick up and let the rock fall out of his hand.

Then there were the Earth Units (probably American) who first had to get a picture of one of their group straddling Link's runoff at the bridge during a minor eruption. They then went on down south, near to where the runoff first enters the gutter and one of the group jumped across the runoff. That finally got a reaction, and he immediately leaped back over the runoff.

Then there were the two Chinese women who thought it would be a great idea to do a stupid pose using the bikes in the bike rack. I heard a lot of rattling noise back there, and in no uncertain terms told them leave my stuff alone. Instead of the usual Asian giggle, one of them actually tried to excuse their behavior with "it's not hurting anyone." Yeah, right, you let people mess with your stuff all the time.

They got down to Norris pool, and the objector immediately heads off around the railing. That got them even more berating. How much stupidity did those two engage in while getting that far down basin? I don't wanna know...

It's almost like there is a constant number of stupid people visiting the area, and now that most of those who can behave themselves are gone for the season, the stupidity become even more intrusive.

Later on, decided that it would be a good night to see Grand, which haven't done in a while. It was actually a fairly warm night, with no wind. The lack of wind meant that the two bursts were pretty much obscured by their steam and that from the runoff.

September 10, 2018

Observations for 09 September 2018

Another quiet day. Saw a couple of Grand eruptions, even got a second burst for one of them. Spent time at Fan & Mortar mostly to kill time.

After the second Grand, headed out to Imperial Geyser at 17:00. The parking lot was crowded, but all those people were on a quest to fill one more item on their bucket list. Beyond the overlook we met a few people coming back. Beyond Fairy Falls we encountered three employees who were at the top of the butte when we arrived at Imperial. (How do I know they were employees? They were hitchhiking back from the parking lot as we left.)

This is the first time I haven't gone out there in the morning, so was a different experience. The lighting and lack of steam made Imperial's activity even more impressive. The runoff channel, based on the dead trees that aren't being flooded, has shifted a few times lately. Only watched Spray for a bit, but did see both vents active (the one on the right doing most of the work, but on the left splashing to a foot or so.)

We were the last out of the area, and there was only one other vehicle in the parking lot when we left.

September 09, 2018

Observations for 08 September 2018

After the midnight hot period, I decided that I needed to be out at least 4 hours later for the next activity. So I ended up waiting in the dark, with approaching lightning and rain for what turned out to be a bathtub. Quite disappointing, especially since the rain started as I untied my bike at Grotto. I went in for a couple hours of warming up, drying off, and maybe getting some sleep.

So it was a bit annoying to be waiting for the alarm to go off only to hear that another hot period had started about two hours later. Rushed out to see the end of a moderately strong hot period, and to get rained on again on the way back in.

So now it's time to not make any assumptions, unless willing to miss another hot period start. An hour later there was a long, 6min pause, which confirmed that suspicion. Going to wait until the next big hot period, then figure out how to get a break.

Four hours after that strong hot period, we got another long Bijou pause with visible Mastiff water. It barely qualified as a bathtub. A bit after five hours, we got a weak, Feather-only hot period. The only anomaly was that we did get Cave erupting weakly for a short time, despite none of the other vents, especially Feather's Satellite, doing much. But it was a sign I could head in for a bit.

Two hours later, having eaten and gotten cleaned up, I got back just in time for another long Bijou Pause. Forty-five minutes later, Bijou started having slowdowns, but nothing close to a real pause. Then, around the 70 minute mark, which seems common, a pause started,

This pause was slow to build. It seemed like all the other features were taking their time in getting started. It was four minutes before Feather finally started, and another twenty seconds before Mastiff started to overflow. It took Feather's satellite almost 2-1/2 minutes to get to overflow, a minute after Cave started. Mastiff didn't boil all that high, either. But that's when the fun began.

When Mastiff dropped, and Bijou came on, Feather didn't quit. When Posthole came on, Giant started surging. The surging was small at first, but the water level was high. Often we could see the boil up in the vent before and after a surge. Over the next few minutes, they just kept getting better. I commented that if it didn't erupt this time, it was going to be a while until the next attempt at erupting.

Then we got a massive surge well above the cone, one pouring out water. Two more even larger surges and Giant was in full eruption. It was windy, but the direction of the wind was away from us. It pushed the water column to the northwest, such that those of us standing at the northern corner of the Cage had to look straight up to see the tops of the jets. It was also mostly sunny, so back a ways, on the boardwalk, there were rainbows stretching from Giant northward.

After the first minute or so, I rushed back to the baseline to get a height. I got 85% of 60meters, which comes out to 51meters, or only 167 feet. Like the pervious eruption, even with the wind pushing the top of the column away, that seems way too short. It sure felt much higher than that.

As I went to get the height measurements, I also noticed that Grand had just started erupting. I don't think many people cared about it. But because a lot of people had headed up there for that eruption before the hot period started, there were a lot of gazers on the boardwalk back there instead of being in the cage.

The end of the eruption seemed to drag out, making it hard to tell when the end finally came, and making it one of the longer ones in a while. It was a great eruption under excellent conditions.

While waiting in the morning, I got to see a private tour-group get part of their talk in the cage. There were two guides, and instead fo talking about Giant, the subjects were The Gumper (over at Mud Volcano) and how to properly visit a backcountry thermal area. The first guid made it sound like The Gumper is way off and inacessible. Back in 1983, when I went there a few times, the hardest part of getting there was not being seen when you left the established trails at Mud Volcano.

The second complained how he was no longer able to take people to see Tomato Soup Spring up Rabbit Creek as a group, but people were able to go up by themselves. That got me to thinking...

I disagree with the NPS closures of all these areas, but I also thought that it was people like him who caused a lot of the problems. Most of those people wouldn't be hiring him if they were willing or able to visit the thermal areas on their own. Most of those people probably had never see a geyser or mud pot or large hot spring before. Why do they need to see some obscure feature like Tomato Soup Spring? (One I've never visited, either). Because, thanks to things like "social media", people have gotten the idea that they don't need to spend any time to become familiar with the common features and activities, but must jump straight into the rare and unusual and "unique". Gotta fill in that bucket list, even if you have no idea why those features are on the bucket list you are required to fill in "before you die."

Besides, what good is a guide if all it can show you is what you'd find on your own, or could read in a book? The guide needs to be able to take people back to rare and unusual areas (and help ruin them in the process) in order to justify getting paid. (The same goes for the "Secrets of..." type books.)

(As for the closures and what to do about them, I have some ideas based on my experiences in NPS units in Utah. They could work, but I don't know if the NPS here could be trusted to do it right.)

September 08, 2018

Observations for 07 September 2018

Left a half hour later today so we would not be driving to Norris in the dark. Arrived in the parking lot there to discover that, not surprisingly, there were already quite a few gazer vehicles there.

The day was cloudy and didn't warm up as fast as yesterday. So by 10:15, I had not shed any coats, and didn't really feel the need to. That was when the fun began.

There had been some gazers at the platform during the night, and they reported a series of strong minor play around 05:00 or so. So it wasn't too surprising that New Crater wasn't showing much activity for the first few hours. That changed shortly after 10:15, when it began having a quick series of strong minors. I hadn't set up my tripod, and half-way through trying to do that, realized I should just forget it and start recording.

So I caught another minor, and it dying down. Almost immediately, another one started. Then it became obvious that the North Vent was building and climbing, and we were getting our eruption. The water briefly hit the platform, but that was the only time during the eruption that there was any threat of getting wet.

Since it was early, I decided that it was the time to try for a height measurement. I'd already determined that the bench on the boardwalk leading to the platforms would be a good place to work from, so I quickly moved there. Unfortunately, the sun and the top of the North Vent water column were close together, making it hard to get a reading at first until I could work out a way to shade the clinometer. About 4 minutes into the eruption, at 130 meters, I got a reading of 80%. That works out to 104meters, or about 340 feet. I haven't yet determined the altitude difference between that location and the vent, and need to confirm the distance, but that value sounds about right.

After that, I took advantage of the lack of crowds to head down to the runoff. The amount of water coming down both of them was impressive, The main one had obviously flowed over the walkway for a while, but was back below the bridge when I got there.

I returned to the platform, and now things were getting crowded. It gets really annoying when tourists who spent no time waiting try to elbow their way to the railing in order to get their precious selfies. I wasn't the only gazer who wasn't helpful in their trying to acheive that goal.

The North Vent column was reddish brown again, while the South was a clean white. Because of the wind direction, there was considerable wash from the hillside behind the North Vent, and I am sure that's where the color comes from. The water phase lasted about 43m, and it wasn't until then that the North Vent finally lost the brownish color.

There was only a light coating of the parking area, and despite the mid-day gridlock, were able to get out of there reasonably fast.

On the drive back, in the Fountain Flats we got to see the first bison herd of the autumn make its appearance. He had to see it, because the traffic was backed up to the Nez Perce bridge. Must have been about 100 of them out there.

No Giant eruption while we were gone, was a bit of a relief, but would have accepted it, considering. Got back in time for a weak, Feather-only Giant Hot Period. Figured that meant there was time to see Grand. Which had its first long (7 hours) interval in quite a while. So a bunch of people all abandoned Grand when a Bijou pause turned into a Feather eruption.

That one was strong enough to have a restart, but no eruption. Not trusting it, I came out at night at the four hour mark, expecting to see that I just missed another, but instead waited until almost midnight for another, similar hot period. Things there are starting to look like last interval, where we had several days of medium to strong hot periods every 6 hours or so.

September 07, 2018

Observations for 06 September 2018

Spent 10 hours at Norris. It's early, but worth checking out since it has had a couple of short intervals. The prognosis was "good but not great". It wouldn't surprise me if it went during the night, or took the better part of a week.

At around 15:00, we could smell smoke, and by the time we left two hours later, it was almost overpowering.

Shortly after arriving, we learned that Giant had had a nice strong hot period in the morning. We arrived back in time to head down at around the 11 hour mark. Didn't have long to wait before a moderately strong one occurred. There was plenty of Mastiff overflow during the 8min eruption of Feather, and a quick restart (1m09s pause) that lasted 4m19s and had about 15 seconds of what looked like Giant surging from a high water level. Like New Crater/Steamboat, I could see Giant erupting tomorrow or next week.

After that, got sucked into waiting at Fan & Mortar. Not sure if we saw a Gold Pause, or two very weak cycles. Sometimes I wonder if we are all watching the wrong things, and that a lot of "event cycles" are just weak cycles that have Main Vent acting up. Sometimes hard to tell the difference.

September 06, 2018

Observations for 05 September 2018

Looks like we are settling in to having regular Giant hot periods. Saw a strong bathtub in the morning, then mid-day it was a medium strength hot period with a weak restart and not much Giant surging.

I did go up to Daisy to see an eruption upclose, and to see what Splendid is doing. The answer is not well. Daisy was 3m26s, which would be short back when Splendid was active. Splendid itself did nothing prior to Daisy's eruption. Afterwards, there was some weak Side-Boiler action to maybe 25cm for a few minutes before the boiling shifted to the Main Vent area. There are two small areas of orange near Splendid where the runoff channels used to start.

Right now, if you didn't know that Splendid was a large geyser, you'd just assume it's a fairly quiet hot spring with a few sputs along the northwestern edge.

September 05, 2018

Observations for 04 September 2018

Another day like the last couple, but this one did start getting different.

Giant started showing signs of life. I saw a couple of 6 minute pauses/bathtubs, and there was a short Feather-only hot period observed. Not sure what it means.

Also got an entertaining One Burst Grand in the middle of the day. The first Turban interval was well over 30 minutes, and for some reason, all those gathered around got all excited by a call of waves on the radio. I sure didn't see any. That resulted in a long, 7m duration Turban eruption and a thoroughly drained Grand. But the water level slowly rose over the next twenty minutes, despite there not being much overflow.

When Turban started, Grand wasn't abnormally low, and as the eruption progressed, so did Grand's water level. But no one seemed to notice or care, as the socializing continued. After a minute, Vent started overflowing, and still no one noticed. Finally, as water started pouring off in waves, the assembled group quieted down and concentrated on the geyser. Grand erupted 1m45s after Turban started.

Also wasted some time at Fan & Mortar again. There never was any real attempt at an eruption.

I also went out for the nighttime Grand. With the regular 6 hour intervals, it's nice knowing that I'll have to only wait a Turban interval or so.

September 04, 2018

Observations for 03 September 2018

Another quiet day with great weather. Three One Burst Grands and too much hanging around Fan & Mortar.

September 03, 2018

Observations for 02 September 2018

News in the morning that New Crater/Steamboat had erupted shortly before midnight was a bit of a relief. After days of trying to get out to Giant for every hot period, and succeeding most of the time, a day off was nice.

So I saw a couple of Grand eruptions, both in good conditions, and one actually had a second burst. I also went up to watch Daisy, and during the wait, Splendid was a calm hot spring. After Daisy I saw a bit of Side Boiler activity followed by some surges in the Main Vent, but nothing even close to what it looked like when active.

Otherwise the rest of the day was wasted at Fan & Mortar, which is typical for those sputs.

September 01, 2018

Observations for 01 September 2018

Got out to Bijou Cage about 3h45m after the midnight hot period. Turned the corner and noted that Riverside was in eruption, which I hadn't noticed while tying the bike at Grotto. Dropped the pack and was fishing for my notebook when I realized that the noise on the platform didn't seem right, too noisy, and one of them sounded like Feather. Got the spotlight out of the pack to discover that Feather was not only in eruption, but Giant was surging. It was a restart. But after a couple of strong Giant surges, things died down.

Just as the alarm went off, Mike Keller started to announce a fill in Mastiff. This turned out to be a strong bathtub with Southwest Vents, but it was still just 2-1/2 hours since the last activity. This gave us the chance to take some time in getting ready to head out.

Arrived at the Cage just before 07:00. Grotto was active, but nothing much else was going on. Rocket finally erupted about an hour and a quarter later. There was a series of pauses lasting from 45s to 1m20s until we finally got a long, 3 min. pause at 10:30. I used that as the opportunity to make a quick run to the cabin to remove some clothing layers and get ready for a longer wait. As I arrived at the cabin, I heard that Grotto had started another eruption.

That eruption of Grotto was short, with Rocket just 26 minutes later. The series of Bijou pauses continued for several hours more, with another Grotto eruption with an interval of about 3-3/4 hours, one that had no Rocket eruption at the end.

Finally, 13-1/2 hours after the previous hot period, we finally got a long pause and Feather. The water rising in Mastiff took its time, about three minutes, to make itself visible. It was another two minutes before Feather started. Then things started happening. Mastiff overflow was strong, and kept getting stronger. The surging was as high as any of the good hot periods. After about 5 minutes, the surging turned into an actual Mastiff eruption.

Over the next couple of minutes Mastiff kept getting higher, with some bursts at least three times the height of Giant's 10 foot high cone. At that point, Giant, whose water level had been high for quite a while, joined in and within two minutes we had the first Mastiff function eruption since late April.

At the platform, I had set up a camera on a tripod to record the hot period, while near the end I started recording the hot period with my phone. As the eruption started, the water was thrown our way, soaking the north end of the cage where I was. The water was still warm, and I quickly shoved both cameras into pockets to protect them. (Videos will be posted when I get back home).

Then I rushed, as much as I could, to get to the 60 meter baseline marker. The boardwalks were crowded with people, but I was there within the first few minutes of the eruption. The best height measurement I got was 74% of 60 meters, which works out to about 150 feet.

The eruption didn't look that short, it looked huge. But I also know that the angle to the top of the spikes was less that 45°. I reviewed my procedures, and confirmed that the baseline I was using appeared to be the 60 meter one (unless the baseline got moved by a repair). The only thing I can conclude is that Giant must've put up some massive spikes at the beginning, but quickly settles down to something not as high. (Much like what Grand does.) Or all those heights of 200+ feet were not based on measurements, but were optimistic estimates.

I do know that years ago I measured a height, well into an eruption, at 72 meters from that point. That eruption was definitely more than 45°. Not sure to make of all this.

The weather conditions were almost perfect. There was a bit of wind, but after the intial surge, the cage didn't get wet again, and the wind pushed the steam away to the north. It was late afternoon, so there was a full double rainbow seen from my vantage point in the cage.

Two signs, the Giant sign and the "Danger" sign rolled from their locations down in front of the cage platform.

Observations for 31 August 2018

The next hot period was just under 6 hours after the previous. It had a restart, but that pause was long, the restart was short, and there wasn't much going on besides Feather. It was perhaps the weakest of this series over the past few days.

Since Grand and Giant were not in sync, waited less than a Turban interval for a One Burst Grand eruption, then headed back to the cage.

Almost immediately, there was a long Bijou Pause. Even though 4m22s long, Mastiff never had water. This seemed a good sign, that there might finally be a longer interval. Which is what happened. Three hours later, we finally got the hotperiod, with an interval of 8-1/2 hours. The surging in Giant was great, but not enough to result in an eruption.

After that, had another opportunity for a One Burst Grand eruption. Which is what it did.

At sunset we had yet another hot period with an interval of 5-1/2 hours. It wasn't as weak as the early morning, but was pretty obvious that it wasn't going to result in an eruption. It took a long time (2m34s) for Feather to restart, and when it did, it was the only vent erupting and it lasted only 3 minutes.

Based on this, I figured that I next needed to be out in the cage after midnight. So it was quite a surprise to be awakened well before the time my alarm was set by Tara reporting a hot period in progress. One with an interval of a little over 4 hours. Started the mad dash to get dressed and ready enough to head out. Didn't get very far when she announced that things were winding down. Was a relief, but now I wasn't sure when to head back out. Decided that I should be there in time for another four hour interval.