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August 31, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 30

The string of Turban Delays before Grand eruptions continued. At least in the morning, Grand ended up erupting on the Delay, so it didn't matter much. We're also back into the mode where Sput D is frequent and West Triplet is only overflowing.

Mid afternoon the delay did matter. There was a storm to the north, but it looked like it was going to miss us, and it did. Then we had the Turban Delay, and it took three intervals before Grand felt like giving us a One Burst Eruption. Meanwhile a new storm developed, and by the start of the second Turban eruption after the Delay, the rain, along with a strong wind, had started. This weather continued until the end of the One Burst Grand eruption. So of course we got to return without having to deal with getting any wetter. The eruption itself was short, only ten minutes, and there was a distinctive slowdown at around the eight minute mark where Grand went into Big Sawmill mode. But the weather did clear out the benches. They were full as it started, and there may have been about a dozen people there for the end.

Went out for the early night eruption, as hadn't done that this trip. This time, finally, while the Turban intervals were long, there wasn't a Delay. There were quite a few people out for this eruption, as the cloudiness kept the air warmer. It felt more like mid-July, and I didn't need the cold weather gear. But as we were walking back past Castle, it started to sprinkle. This continued during the bike ride back to the cabin, by which time it had stopped.

August 30, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 29

After a single long Rift eruption, it appears we are back to Sput D in control again. At the same time, it's beginning to seem like having a Turban Delay is a requirement before Grand can erupt.

The morning's eruption had two Delays, and Grand at least erupted on the second one. For the afternoon, there was only one Delay, and Grand erupted on the next Turban eruption. In that case, the interval after the Delay had a normal fill and Turban initiated the eruption.

The second eruption of the day also had a second burst. The first lasted about eight minutes, and the total duration was just over ten. A little disappointing, actually, as the pool drained almost immediately afterwards.

Spent a few hours at Fan & Mortar. While there were definite cycles in activity, they were weak. In both cases, River Vent came on, followed by some splashing in High an Gold Vents. Then everything shut off for several minutes, to be followed by a more progressive start. Angle Vent did shut down without a lot of blipping around at the end, so the cycles themselves didn't last that long.

Didn't make an attempt to go out for the early night Grand eruption, which turned out to be a good move. There was a thunderstorm with hail about then.

August 29, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 28

It was a day to see One Burst Grand eruptions.

The first was at dawn. Castle was in late steam as I tied down my bike,. The wait started out foggy and the walkway slippery, and for the next hour it got progressively foggier and slipperier. I sort of saw Daisy erupt by seeing a column of steam in that general direction, above the fog. But the little breeze there was pushed the steam away from my view, so I was actually able to see Vent overflow before Turban initiated the eruption.

During the wait, there wasn't much activity from Sput D, only one eruption (and overflow from West Triplet) about an hour before Grand erupted. During and after Grand there was the usual heavy West Triplet overflow and weak Sput D eruption. But the West Triplet also had areas of roiling, as if it was trying to start bursting. I also saw a couple of quick, 30cm high boils on Churn as I was walking by.

So it didn't surprise me to find that a few hours later Rift was erupting. This was the first eruption of Rift since we arrived five days ago. At the same time, Sput D was continuously spitting away. I stuck around to catch the first Grand overflow, at a little over four hours after the previous eruption. From there it was a quick visit to Geyser Hill to check on Aurum and Beehive. I waited maybe a couple of minutes for Aurum, and then since Beehive was being watched, I headed back to Grand.

Rift was still erupting, but Sput D was a lot quieter. As the Rift eruption progressed, it eventually stopped completely. About an hour later, I noticed splashes from Percolator, the first activity there I've seen in quite a while. Normally Percolator is full and overflowing when it erupts, but this time it was empty, and the jets had that thin appearance as if they were coming from down deep. Over at West Triplet, it seemed steamier too, as if it was having one of its deep drain eruptions. (The crowd was too thick to attempt taking a look.)

Meanwhile, Turban had consecutive Delay intervals, with the One Burst Grand eruption one interval after the second Delay. It was about ten minutes after Grand ended that Rift finally quit, too, for a duration of well over three hours.

Came out for the sunset Grand to find West Triplet still drained. Nothing happened down there the whole time I waited for Grand to erupt. This time, at least, Grand erupted on the second Delay. That mean the crowd was still able to see the eruption. Another Turban interval and it would have been dark. The start itself was explosive, maybe 5 meters high, with no preliminary boops or boiling or other warning.

August 28, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 27

As yesterday, we arrived at Norris at dawn. From early on it appeared that the activity in New Crater/Steamboat had picked up a little. As the morning progressed, there were surges about an hour apart. Finally, at around 10:40, there was a surge that couldn't be ignored, and it was followed up within moments by another, just as large. As in the other eruptions I've seen this year, there was an obvious change in behavior. There was activity stronger than anything seen up to that point, and it didn't diminish.

As soon as the eruption started I moved quickly up the mostly empty walkway to the bench. I wanted to get a height measurement, and this was the perfect time to do it. The only problem was that I had to look into the sun to get the readings, and a third hand to help shield the glare would have helped. In any case, the best measurements I got were 95% of the distance, which I measured on a satellite map as being 130 meters. That comes out to 123.5 meters, or 405ft. I'm pretty sure I saw some higher jets before I got out the clinometer. Even factoring in the uncertainties in my measurements, that eruption was well over 350 feet, and could have been as much as 450ft.

I took a video of my walk back, and the height was still obvious as I went back. It was only a few minutes later that north vent turned a dirty brown, and started chugging away like it was going to choke. This lasted quite a while, with water pouring off the hillside behind the vent into the vent and then down the runoff channel. It looked like we were going get a choke, but it never quite made it. But the behavior tended to confirm my contention that they are because of the water running back into the vent off the hillside.

This time the transition from water to steam was fairly easy to see and feel, at least from the vantage point of the lower platform.

I also went down to the bridge over the runoff, just to see how it compared to the last time I was there during an eruption. This time the boards were wet. I stood there, to take a video of the eruption looking up when I noticed that I was standing in water. I moved over to the side, and a small flood washed a bunch of peachpit sized rocks onto the walkway.

It wasn't until much later in the eruption that the wind shifted and we got a soaking. Got wetter trying to get into raingear which wasn't really needed after about five minutes. On the whole, this was one of the more powerful eruptions I've experienced. The pounding feeling against my body was especially strong around the time of the transition to steam.

Decided to take the opportunity to visit Porcelain Basin for the first time this century. It was as I remembered, and in other way completely different. There seems to be no mention of Ebony or Bear Den Geysers, while the flat on the east side and many more geysers and eruptive features than I remember. Took the trail to the Back Basin, and don't remember Minute Geyser looking like that.

When we arrived at Cistern, it was already below overflow, and there was a five dollar bill lying on the boardwalk. So I actually made a profit today.

From there it was back to the lower platform one last time. Where we saw three people making there way down through the trees behind the eruption. I made a radio report of this, then noticed a naturalist at the upper platform with his NPS radio out, and figured they were already repoerted. The three then cut over to get closer to the geyser at about then, when the naturalist yelled at them, then ran down the walkway to intercept them.

Of course I had to revisit the bridge at bottom again, where we found three people dejectely standing next to the naturalist. A bit later, as we were loading the truck and as I was taking the following photo, I noticed them being escorted out of the basin by a ranger with a gun. I sure do hope they got more than a reprimand.

As we were leaving the basin, I noticed a sign that hadn't been there when we arrived or when we made a plumbing run about an hour before the eruption. While it intention seems to be good, perhaps it would be better to have this up before the eruption? After all, the most likely time to get slimed in the parking lot is during the water phase.

So after our return to the Old Faithful area, there was time to unload (and dry out) all the stuff from the back of the truck. I headed out to Grand at about the five hour mark, only to see from the boardwalk by Castle that Beehive's Indicator was in eruption. With no radio call. So I had to make one. I also had to make some calls at the five and ten minute mark, as the indicator was a fairly long one. I waited around in the Sawmill Group for the eruption to finally start.

I finally made it to Grand just as Daisy erupted Grand was not particularly cooperative, at least until the end. I arrived to a series of Turban eruption intervals with short eruption durations. There was some activity from Sput D, but not with every interval, and it seemed not accompanied by any West Triplet overflow. So Grand was kind of stalled out, and the 7-1/2 hour interval was not because of any sort of delay. But when Grand finally did erupt, the first burst quit well before 8 minutes. Then Grand reverted to form, with a second burst lasted well over 2-1/2 minutes. It went into full "Big Sawmill" mode about a minute into the burst, with what seemed like pauses only to have a tall jet rocket out of the vent. But it was probably the last Turban eruption before sunset, so the lighting was ideal, especially for the start of the second burst.

August 27, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 26

It was a day spent a Norris watching New Crater/Steamboat do little to nothing. Arrived at 06:30 and left at 19:20, and during that time I never saw anything I would consider as an impending eruption. The best we saw was near the end of the wait when I finally felt the need to at least pull the camera tripod out of the bag and attach the phone mount. Otherwise there was a good, strong minor every few hours, but none of them had any sort of vertical component. Also missing was the low rumbling, huffing and thumping that seems to be coming from the North Vent area.

The one amusing part of the day was right as we were leaving, when a couple of surfer dudes, wearing nothing but shorts and sandals, with a towel draped over the shoulders, asked where they could go swimming. The answer they got didn't thrill them, as they were told to try either Boiling River or the Firehole Canyon areas. Someone should have also pointed out to them that the last time someone tried to go "swimming" at Norris, they didn't make it out of the pool at all.

August 26, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 25

Since I forget to take a look yesterday, this morning I stopped in to take a look at Giant's Platform. Nothing much changed there. I did seem some spits out of the frying pan behind the Southwest Vents, which themselves were noisy. But the water in front of Giant was probably from overnight sloshing in the vent, and Bijou tried but failed to have a pause.

At Grand, the Group is definitely in a mode where West Triplet is dormant. Before the morning's eruption, there was an eruption of Sput D, along with activity in Sputnik, Sput A, and Sput F2 shortly before the Turban eruption. Only the last time did West Triplet overflow, and that was with weak activity from Sput D. Then just before Grand's start, Sput D started again, strongly, along with West Triplet overflow, only to be drowned by Grand itself.

This was a nice two burst eruption, and was followed by the typical weak Sput D activity and strong West Triplet overflow. So it looks like the Grand Group has shifted to a mode it had for a during my previous visit back in July.

The afternoon eruption was similar. Sput D was active once a Turban interval, but it did skip one interval right after I arrived. The Grand eruption was a Turban Delay, and Sput D also delayed such that it started just before Turban finally started. Grand's pool looked poor at the start, but over the next one hundred seconds, it rose up and started having good waves. Sput D ended just as Grand started.

That eruption lasted less than ten minutes, and for about the last three really did live up to the "Big Sawmill" label. There was a strong wind at the time, but that shouldn't have been the reason for the small bursts and periods of not much more than boiling. Also, because it took so long for Grand to start after Turban, Vent started only one hundred seconds after Grand, which was to be expected. After the eruption, there was a weak eruption of Sput D, and strong overflow from West Triplet.

August 25, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 24

A dull way to start another visit.

Started out with a One Burst Grand eruption. The weather kept changing from sort of warm and sunny to breezy and cool and overcast. At one point there was a full 22 degree parhelic arc circling the sun. It looks like Grand itself may have returned to the mode where Sput D is frequently active and West Triplet quiet. Did see one strong eruption of of the sput just before Grand erupted, and evidence of West Triplet overflowing without erupting during the Grand eruption. The eruption itself was on a delay, and the preceeding Turban interval was well over 22 minutes.

From there it was over to Grotto, where Spa was full and starting to boil. But got interrupted by Beehive's Indicator as we walked up on Crested Pool. Surprised there was no one over there waiting for it, so had to give out a radio call. The eruption itself was the first one I'd seen this year from the overlook across the river.

And so then finally made it to Spa. Over the next hour or so there were numerous bursts, some as high as 10 meters and lasting 10 seconds or so.

Finally, since the reports from Fountain were sparse, went out to see what would happen next. It turned out the interval was well over eight hours, but the duration was well under 32 minutes. While waiting for an hour for Fountain, did see lots of other activity, including Jet, Super Frying Pan, Twig, Kaleidoscope and some pool out there that had at least 6 vents erupting up to a couple of meters high.

August 14, 2019

Aurum Geyser, 2019 August 03

Aurum Geyser, 2019 August 03. Video by H.Koenig.

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I was testing out an app I wrote which would add a timestamp. Since my phone is old, the processor can't always keep up, so it drops frame and that causes some jerkiness. But I did get a full eruption, including the preliminaries.

August 13, 2019

Morning Geyser, 2019

Morning Geyser, 2019. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 12, 2019

Bulger's Hole, 2019 July 31

Bulger's Hole, 2019 July 31. Video by H.Koenig.

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August 11, 2019

Aerial Survey Flight, 2019 August 02

Aerial Survey Flight, 2019 Aug 02. Video by H.Koenig.

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Note: The audio for this video consists of the aircraft engine noise. You won't hear any conversations, as those were through microphones and headsets. So you might want to use the "mute" button.

August 10, 2019

New Crater/Steamboat Geyser, 2019 July 30

New Crater/Steamboat Geyser, 2019 July 30. Video by H.Koenig.

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Includes the first five chokes.

August 09, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 08

Usually on the day I leave, Grand likes to toss in a long interval to make me regret that decision.

After another short interval after my fifth Grand yesterday, and five days of intervals well shorter than that of Riverside's, we decided that we should try and provoke that longer interval. But Grand refused to cooperate, and instead had another One Burst Grand with an interval just over five hours. And nothing from West Triplet. Things have, or are, changing there, so it should be interesting when we return in a few weeks.

August 08, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 07

It's been a while since I went out to Grand at night. With the shortened intervals of the last few days, decided to tempt fate until the next long delayed interval.

When I walked past Churn, I noticed that it was below overflow with a bit of a rim. I assume it erupted, but I didn't really miss it.

Arrived with Turban in eruption. There wasn't any overflow that I could hear before the next Turban eruption, about 15 minutes later. Grand erupted before the next Turban, and that interval was also short, about 17 minutes. Otherwise it was a normal One Burst Grand eruption, with an interval around 5-1/2 hours.

'Came out for the next eruption, and was amused to consider that I was arriving at around the 5h10m mark, and that I could be missing the eruption. But the pool was full. Again, there was a Turban eruption that was not preceeded by any audible or visible overflow. The next Turban eruption was less thatn 20 minutes later, and lasted less than four minutes. When Grand started, Turban preceeded it and the interval there was only about 17 minutes, and maybe a minute after I first heard the overflow.

The eruption itself was annoying in it's own way. The first burst ended abruptly at the 7-1/2 minute mark. When the second burst also ended in a reasonable amount of time, instead of lasting several minutes, I was sure I was about to see my first three (or more) burst Grand eruption in years. Instead, nothing happened. The total duration, including the pause, was just under nine minutes. Which in its way was probably close to a record for the least amount of water in a Grand eruption.

Midday I came out to find West Triplet in eruption, along with Sput D. This continued for thirty minutes, so the duration was even longer, and of course, that meant we got to see the start of Rift just as West Triplet ended.

The Turban intervals and durations were unremarkable until then. Then we got a couple of short Turban eruption durations (4m08s and 5m11s) and shorter intervals. Grand itself went only 17-1/2 minutes after Turban, but the overflow had started around the 15 minute mark. The One Burst Grand lasted just over ten minutes, and to play with us, had over a minute of the crater full and sloshing around. (There was a small contingent who were positioned to run to Beehive, ahead of the post Grand crowd, who had to wait this out.) When Vent & Turban did quit, the pause was only 8-1/2 minutes long.

Since Beehive was showing signs of being near erupting (the primary one being it was afternoon), I walked over to Geyser Hill. The Indicator started as I passed Liberty Pool, and this time it was so long that I was able to get there with plenty of time.

The fourth Grand of the day was preceeded by a Turban eruption with no overflow from Grand. That was followed by a delay. Unlike the night before, Grand went from heavy boil into a blue bubble to start the eruption. This time there wasn't any West Triplet activity while I was out there.

That left 6h10m for Grand to have a fifth eruption for the day. Based on recent intervals, that should be plenty of time. But based on past experience, I wouldn't count on it, as Grand does seem to have a tendency to toss in a long (in this case, about seven hour long interval) when you really want a short. (Like when you are packed and leaving, and want to get in that "one last Grand".)

The eruption this morning was in the dark, but this time the clouds parted and there was a nice first quarter moon illuminating the basin. I arrived in time for more anomalous Turban behavior. In this case, the strong overflow decreased as I waited, and was almost non-existent when Turban finally erupted 11 minutes later. I would guess that this was probably a delay, well before the five hour mark. But it wasn't much of a surprise to have Grand erupt on the next Turban, twenty minutes later. A pretty undistinguished One Burst Grand, with nothing from West Triplet again. The main negative is that it was too early, so there was some jerk with a bright light out there illuminating the eruption.

So I did see five eruptions of Grand in one day. In about a 22 hour period, with an hour padding on each side of the period of eruptions. I get the feeling, based on the behavior lately that there will be many more such opportunities in the next few weeks.

August 07, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 06

This morning's One Burst Grand was actually a little different. First, it took Vent about a minute longer than expected to start. Then, despite the One Burst Grand lasting just over eleven minutes, Vent & Turban continued. This was also a double interval of almost exactly eleven hours.

But while waiting for that eruption, Churn erupted. This was another full height play, lasting about a minute and about ten minutes before Grand. Immediately after I checked, and Churn was down below overflow with a 30cm rim. Sawmill was also low, at least 30cm and exposing some of the orange slime lining the vent. During the Grand eruption there was a second Churn eruption, again full height and duration. This activity is consistent with that of years past, where Churn would erupt in a short series about twenty minutes apart, when Sawmill was in a drain. Waited for a third eruption, but nothing happened.

The next One Burst Grand was fairly undistinguished, although it did continue the trend of intervals of under six hours. West Triplet did erupt during that eruption, but it lasted a little under nine minutes.

It was the next eruption of the day where things got interesting. I saw Turban in eruption as I was tying down my bike at Castle. When I got over to the area, I found that it looked like West Triplet was much higher than normal, just below overflow. About ten minutes later it overflowed weakly for about two minutes, with no activity from any of the sputs. After that, the water level in Grand rose to a good, strong overflow, and then showed waves.

At the 4h56m mark in the Grand interval, there was a strong boop from Grand. Over the next three minutes there were more of these boils. Finally the 5h01m mark, and at least 36 minutes after Turban last started, a boop turned into an actual eruption. This is the shortest interval I have ever seen out of Grand. Late in the One Burst Eruption West Triplet started to overflow. This continued after Grand and Vent and Turban quit. Finally after about eight minutes, West Triplet started splashing. This eruption of West Triplet was accompanied by some weak spitting from Sput D and Percolator, and lasted about 21 minutes. Vent & Turban quit when West Triplet did.

August 06, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 05

Not a lot of excitement the last few days, and today continued that trend.

Stopped by the Giant platform for a bit. While it's pretty dead, Giant was a bit amusing. It appears the water level in the cone is high. Not only were there a number of angled surges well above the "bite" and over the side of the cone, but a number of times where there was vertial jetting, too. Often I saw what appeared to be the top of a heavy boil taking place just out of site. But Bijou never stopped in a half hour, and only once did I see any water jetting from Masttif

Having seen the end of a Grotto eruption around 09:00, decided that I could/should be there for the next start. I've seen several Grotto Fountain eruptions from Grand, but it's been years since I've seen it up close.

Wasn't disappointed. In the hour I waited, there was an episode of Grotto huffing with a splash or two early on, then quiet. When Grotto Fountain started, it was sudden, going from a strong boil to full eruption in a minute or two. The height itself was impressive. I remember higher, but this was still in the 15 meter range. South Grotto Fountain joined in midway throught, with intermittent splashing, and after ten minutes, Grotto finally joined in. That didn't seem to be all that strong. The Grotto eruption was still going on three hours later.

There were a couple of One Burst Grand eruptions. What distinguishes them is that that in both cases there was a delay. Three Turban intervals in the morning, but Grand did manage to erupt on the delay in the afternoon. But before that last eruption there was a Turban interval of 24m54s, which was really close. In general, I've noticed that most Turban intervals are well over 21 minutes, and as much as 24 is not unusual. What is unusual are the ones below 20 minutes, and those only after a delay it seems.

I've come to the conclusion that the most obnoxious groups are not the Asian flag tours, but family reunions. These are large groups of people in their own little world, oblivious to the fact that they aren't the center of attention. They are loud and obnoxious and try to take over areas, and they are having such a good time that everyone else is a killjoy if they object to their noise and rudeness. At least the Asian tours seem to keep moving.

August 05, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 04

Grand is slowly getting later each day. I expect it soon to suddenly be back to its old habit of erupting just before dawn.

But this morning it did provide us with two bursts. The first burst was only 8m30s, while the total eruption duration was less than 10 minutes. It made no attempt to try for a third burst, but at least Vent and Turban continued,

As I was getting on the bike, Castle started. It was a surprse to me, and it was preceeded by a couple of large surges that looked more like the aftermath of a minor.

Down at Fan & Mortar there was a cycle of activity, but it was weak. When the River Vent started, almost immediately the High and Gold Vents started, too. Then they looked really strong for a minute or so, before dying down. So again, looks like not much going on there.

In the afternoon, we could have had a second burst from Grand, but despite the One Burst being only nine minutes long, there was no attempt at refilling the pool. West Triplet started during that time, and continued for 33 minutes, but there was no Rift eruption with it. Sput D and Percolator started up about halfway through, and then quit when West Triplet quit. That was also the time when Vent & Turban also quit.

Was considering going out to the early nighttime Grand, but we had the first strong thunderstorm of the trip, and decided I didn't like the idea of sitting in the cold and damp.

If the purpose of geyser predictions is to help visitors see geyser eruptions, then the ones for Grand couldn't be better for having the opposite effect.

The window the NPS is using is an hour and a half long, from five hours to six and one half. Not only is this too short, but it is centered wrong. Worse, they round down, so there are times with the window starts as soon as 4h50m. So the NPS is getting people out to Grand too early, making them wait the better part of an hour when there is little to no chance of anyone seeing an eruption. Then they end the window early, when there is still an excellent chance that Grand will erupt. This is especially important when there's a long Turban interval delay.

The benches go from near empty to full within ten or so minutes of the opening of the window. If Grand hasn't erupted when the NPS window closes, gaps form in the fomerly full benches.

From what I've seen, the range for Grand eruptions is 5h45m to 7h15m. (I have seen a 5h36m) This could be easily adjusted to 5h30m and 7h30m. The problem is that I don't know of any way to communicate this information to anyone in the NPS who is in a position to fix the problem, or who even cares. It just reinforces the impression that the NPS really doesn't care about visitor services, or even wants to try to provide decent information to those who have no idea what is going on.

August 04, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 03

After yesterday's adventures it was time to get back to normal.

Grand has finally shifted enough that there was no reason to not be out for the early morning eruption. I like that time of day, so it was disappointing for it to be going when it was just dark enough to not be seen well.

While waiting, I did get to see a minor Churn eruption in progress. What I saw was some boiling to about 1/2 meter for about 5-10 seconds. About 20 minutes later, after the One Burst Grand eruption, I got over there to find that Churn was just below overflow, and that Sawmill was high, but nowhere near overflow.

Decided to spend some time down basin, just because there's so little going on down there that it's hard to get motivated to make a bike ride specifially to watch nothing.

At Fan & Mortar, I didn't see much organized activity. When Angle finally died down, River Vent came on almost immediately. The runoff from Bottom Vent was dry.

But I did see the otters, a blue heron and an osprey which was perching on trees and seemed to be letting the otters do its fishing.

From there I rode up on Spa just starting to overflow. There was increased overflow and boiling while was there, but I didn't stick around. Grotto had quit about an hour earlier, so not sure what this means.

After another One Burst Grand it was off to Aurum to take advantage of the shorter intervals. Didn't take long to get an up close recording of the full eruption.

In the evening, arrived to see Rift sputtering away. It was accompanied by Sput D and Percolator, but eventually both of those quieted down. Grand itself had a Delay, and then Rift finally quit about an hour after I'd arrived. So instead of a nice sunset eruption, instead we got a One Burst Grand as it was slowly getting dark.

August 03, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 02

On Wednesday we drove out to Cody. I know that I haven't driven to there from Fishing Bridge since the late 1980s, so it was almost a new experience.

We were in Cody because the next morning we had been invited to join a photographic survey of thermal areas in the park. Which we did. The original plan was to leave at around 07:00, but that got pushed back after we experienced the thick fog for the last New Crater/Steamboat eruption.

We left from the Cody airport in a 4-seater Cessna 182 plane. It was a beautiful day. It was completely clear and while a bit windy on the ground, nothing much higher up. We were supposed to be up at 09:00 for a two hour flight, but there wasn't a reason to hurry, so did get off the ground until 09:30. There was little to no turbulance during the 15 minutes it took to get to Sylvan Pass and our first view of Yellowstone Lake. From there is was only five minutes or so to get to West Thumb, our first destination.

At each destination we circled a couple of time about 2000 feet up. It's quick and fast, but still fun to recognize landmarks and features from up there.

We visited, in turn, West Thumb, Heart Lake, Shoshone, the Upper Basin, Midway and the Lower Basin, Gibbon and Geyser Creek, Norris, the Canyon (there are geysers in there...) Crater Hills and Mud Volcano.

There wasn't much geyser activity to be seen. Did see a large puff from the location of Minute Man in Shoshone. Then saw some nice, huge bursts from Imperial as we flew past. Also think I saw steam from Avalanche in Geyser Creek.

It's much easier to see pools from the air than the cones. The pool color (black, brown, green or blue) offers a constrast to the slightly gray white of the geyser areas. If something was steaming, we could pick out the cone or feature. Most striking are the deep blue of deep pools like Giantess or Columbia at Heart Lake.

And yes, Grand Prismatic does look like the calendar pictures. By the time we passed over, around 11:00, it was warm and clear and there wasn't much steam to obscure the brilliant colors. While the calendars may be enchanced and Photoshopped, it really doesn't need much. The primary way the calendars are exagerating is that even as large as it is, from our height it wasn't any bigger than the full moon.

At Norris we could seen the steam coming from New Crater/Steamboat from miles away despite ground reports saying it was dry. The huge grayish brown area of dead and dying trees surrounding the vent (mostly to the northeast and the parking lot) just can't be appreciated from the ground in the same way.

After all that, we headed back to Cody via the pass north of Sylvan. (I need to find the name). From there you can see a large arch in the Absaroka Mountains. (Again, I need to find the name). We arrived back at about noon, so we got in (and paid for) an extra half hour.

Eventually, after we get home, I'm going to try to take our videos and post some of the better parts.

If there were disappointments, it was that it's just too fast. You only spend a few minutes at most at each area, and from the air, each area is only a minute of so from the next one. Our biggest gap was going from Heart Lake to Shoshone. Also, photography is hard and can be disappointing. Suzanne was on the photographer's side, so she was able to get some good shots and video, but often I was looking over her shoulder and trying to position the camera so it was recording something, which can be distracting.

If given the chance again, I'll take it.

After we got back to our cabin, we did go out for the evening One Burst Grand. While tying up the bikes at Castle, we did see an eruption of Tilt, which lasted long enough for us to walk up on the end.

August 02, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 01

The Grand intervals lengthened out a bit, so that the morning eruption occurred in daylight, but that also meant the first eruption I would see would be around noon. So rode down basin just to check things out. I stopped at the bike-rack at Castle and the geyser started almost immediately. It was a nice backlit full steam eruption.

From there I rode down basin to find not only Grotto, but Spa in eruption. Grotto was well into a Marathon eruption, as Bijou was only splashing weakly, and the Marathon Pool was down.

While watching Spa, Riverside started, so I watched it for a while from the bridge, where Fan & Mortar wasn't doing much.

Solstice was still in eruption, too.

At Grand, things were quiet except for Turban. Finally had something other than a One Burst Grand, as there was tall second burst. West Triplet also erupted starting shortly after Grand, and quit sometime after the end. I didn't observe any activity from Sput D or from Percolator.

Walking away saw Bulger start, but no activity from Bulger's Hole, and Old Tardy started during that eruption, too. From the bike rack, I also saw a nice eruption of Tilt.

August 01, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 31

While walking out to the One Burst Grand, as I passed by Crested Pool I saw my first Churn eruption of the year. While there have been reports of Churn erupting this year, from what I'd head it was only a big boil a meter or so high. This looked like those of previous years. It lasted about a minute, and several of the shots were easily to four meters, if not more. When I walked up, Churn was just below overflow, with a 30cm wide white rim around the pool. The Churn eruption was also during an eruption of Oblong.

At Grand West Triplet erupted, along with Sput D and Percolator. The sput eruptions were longer than when West Triplet was just overflowing. And then soon we got Rift to erupt.

After Grand I waited for the end of Rift for a while, but it just kept on going. But as I left, I noticed Bulger starting an eruption, and as I rounded the trees next to the walkway, I saw Bulger's Hole in full eruption. It was full of milky water about 10cm below the rim. It was throwing burst of water at the back several meters high. It continued for over five minutes, even after Bulger itself had stopped. Then it slowly drained down, making some gurgling sounds.

After a report of Fountain having a 36 minute duration, went out to see what it might do next. Other than a tall eruption of Morning's Thief, not much. It really does sound (and look) a lot like high tide crashing against a rocky shore.

For the evening Grand, we didn't get a delay, but the Turban durations were short, and it wasn't until they got longer that Grand showed any signs of activity. During the wait nothing other than Turban erupted, another sign that the West Triplet Overflow mode was over.