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August 31, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 30

Checked out Oblong, just in case, but it was full and overflowing. The Giant Platform was mostly dry, with a few puddles probably left over from the rains the other day, or some big Giant surges. Over at Daisy there was a normal eruption.

Grand had another one of its fifth hour Turban Interval delays, but this time instead of making us wait for an hour, it had a second delay and then erupted. It was another two burst eruption, and Grand's vent held up for about fifteen seconds before draining and and immediate quitting by Vent & Turban.

Wasted some time at Artemisia, then went on down the trail to see if anything was visible. While most of the interesting features are completely hidden, I did see a Cauliflower eruption that had about a meter boil at the beginning, then a few more boils before dropping back down.

The weather deteriorated for the late afternoon Grand wait. There was a consistent 15-20mph wind the whole time, and despite the sunny, clear sky, it felt cold. No delays, and the interval was less than six hours. There was a large boop from Grand a couple of seconds before the eruption started with a bubble bursting. There was a rainbow coming and going the whole time as the wind shifted the spray that was headed toward Rift. We also got a second burst, a long one so not chance for a third. The surprising thing was that despite the eruption lasting over 11-1/2 minutes, Vent & Turban didn't quit.

Once again, West Triplet showed no attempt at erupting, just heavy overflow after each Grand eruption. Now over four days since and eruption, and even longer for Rift. During this time it also seems like Belgian has been full most of the time, and not shown the fluctuations and drops seen earlier.

In the Lodge Cabin area, the NPS has the fire crews doing some tree thinning within ten yards or so of the cabins. Lots of smaller trees are being removed, and branches from some of the larger trees, too. No evidence they are going to clean up all the deadwood littering the area, though.

August 30, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 29

More Grand eruptions today. Came out at the 11 hour mark no knowing when the previous eruption had occurred. Was at Belgian when Turban started, and moments later saw what appeared to be a Grand Boop well over a meter high This was followed by another, maybe two meters high. Finally Grand started a One Burst Eruption.

Turns out the NPS had the electronic time (around 04:15), but never got around to publishing that information. Typical.

Later spent a hour at Fan & Mortar where I saw nothing but Garbage Mode, with the vents starting and stopping several times during that period.

The after ended the string of short intervals at Grand with a four Turban Interval delay. Once again this eruption was followed by overflow from West Triplet without an eruption. It's now been over three days since its last recorded eruption.

The night was warm, with a clear sky and a bright moon. Probably arrived just in time for a Turban Interval delay. This Turban duration was long, and the next interval didn't have overflow. The delay turned out to be beneficial, because before the next Turban eruption, Oblong erupted.

In the dark, it seemed like the Oblong eruption was short in both height and in duration, but could definitely see bursting and hear it. Several others went down for a closer look, and got there before the end. During the subsequent wait for Grand, it seemed at times like the steam picked up down there, but no followup eruption.

The One Burst Grand eruption was pretty standard for one lasting about eleven minutes. But during the eruption, I noticed Churn splashing, backlit by the moon with heavy steam. Was over by the time I got past the trees at Rift and Bulger, so I returned to Grand.

This time, West Triplet did not even overflow following the Grand eruption. It's now been well over three days since the last eruption of West Triplet was observed.

August 29, 2020

Yellowstone Radio Part 2

For the first few days after the earlier radio report, things seemed pretty quiet. Mornings especially, when sometimes I'd wonder if the radio was even on. Only a few medicals in the afternoon. Then things got back to normal.

  • There were two reports of medical problems in between West Thumb and Old Faithful. So several local units headed southeast in an attempt to respond. The cardiac incident wasn't found, but the pickup truck with the seizure flagged down a responder at Kepler. One of the other responders was an ambulance from the Lower Basin. South of Midway, with lights flashing, it was involved in a minor rear-end collision. There's one NPS driver with lots of paperwork to fill out.
  • If you aren't going to store your food properly in your Madison campsite, that will attract official attention. So you should not leave your marijuana where it's visible when someone comes around to confiscate your improper storage. That person got two citations, one for "possesion of less than three grams" along with the storage violation.
  • You only get one verbal warning for speed. Even if it was last year, you are getting a citation the next time.
  • There was the pair of cultists out at the boardwalk around Old Faithful with loudspeakers exhorting the people there to repent of their wicked ways. At first they refused to stop, so Responding Ranger called for backup, with lights on. They relented and left area. They were driving a Prius with Washington plates, so is a good chance that they were Seattle Democrats who "believe in science."
  • There was the group of nine who were first reported engaged in "thermal tresspass" out by Grand Geyser, "cussing out" those who requested they stay on trail. They were officially met where the bridge trail to Geyser Hill meets Old Faithful loop. I didn't hear what happened next, but assume it wasn't much.
  • There were the motorcyclists who had already gotten citations for crossing the double yellow line over by Lake. Their next work of genius was on the road between West Thumb and Lake, where they would slow down for a while, use a turnout letting people pass, then speed up and pass them, starting the cycle again. Except one of the cars they were annoying was off-duty medical with a radio. So they were met at Kepler Cascades by Old Faithful Patrol. They only got a warning, unfortunately.
  • Visitor assist for a phone lost down a storm grate at the Scaup Lake turnout. They could see it, but could not reach it.
  • I missed the start of the traffic stop, but you know things are getting interesting when the Ranger is asking for VIN information, including license plate number and registered address. Did hear the result, after the stop had lasted about an hour-- mandatory court appearance for failure to pay fees, no vehicle registration, no display of plates and no proof of insurance.
  • The first one-way trip to Mammoth I've heard of this trip was someone who got stopped for reasons unknown. But they found "crystaline substance", marijuana pipe, meth pipes (one broken), cuts on subjects hand and blood on broken pipe and around front seat. They also did a field blood draw.
  • There was the vehicle at Gibbon Picnic that spilled several quarts of oil due to a leaky drain plug.
  • Waiting at Norris, heard about the couple who'd brought in a dog burned in a thermal feature to the Old Faithful Clinic. Were described as "non-coperative" about where the incident occurred, but found out later that could've been due to a language problem. Never did learn more because it's hard to hear the radio when New Crater/Steamboat is erupting.
  • The OB (Out-of-Bounds) Camper in the Madison gov't housing area. Seems she got "separated from her party" and decided trying to hide among other parked cars would help and she'd escape notice. Ended up in one of the emergency sites at Madison, so I guess it worked.
  • There was the traffic stop of an SUV southbound across Fountain Flats. They were given a verbal warning for "child out of sunroof."
  • The "biker" who may or may not have taken some beers from the Lodge cafeteria without paying after causing a scene over the use of masks. He was contacted outside during eruption of Ol' Filthy and given verbal warning about tresspass. (In other words, leave when you are told to leave.)
  • Not much radio traffic about the Lone Star Fire, even on the "fire" channel. Must be using other frequencies.

Also, it appears that if you are caught operating a drone, you will be scheduled to make a return visit to see the Magistrate at Mammoth. Have heard that happen three times now.

Observations for 2020 August 28

Went out in a foggy Upper Basin with the expectation of waitiing a few hours for Grand. Turned out it was less than one, although that was a two Turban Interval delay. The eruption itself was my third consecutive two burst eruption, which is something I haven't experienced in quite a while. The second burst had a distinct false pause about a minute in, but instead restarted and lasted for another minute. During the eruption West Triplet overflowed, but I don't know if it actually erupted.

In the afternoon we finally got back to having One Burst Grand eruptions. I think this was probably a four Turban Interval delay, but can't be sure. The first Turban eruption I saw lasted over six minutes, which is a good sign of a delay, and the next interval had no overflow.

It was an all Grand day, it turned out. Went out after dark for the moonlight One Burst Grand eruption. This one was short, less than ten minutes and Vent & Turban seemed to quit at the end for well over a minute, then came back without a pause in Vent.

August 28, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 27

After came in last night, the thunder and lightening started. There was more in the early morning hours, which meant there wasn't much incentive to get out despite Giantess still being active. This rain did have the nice effect of getting rid of most of the smoke in the air, although there was still a hint when I first got out and about.

Thanks to an electronic time, knew that we were actually well into the interval as we headed out for the One Burst Grand eruption. I noticed that Sawmill was perhaps even higher than noted earlier this visit. The catch basins may have been just rainwater, but hard to tell. At Grand only waited for one Turban interval. After the eruption, West Triplet was overflowing heavily for a while, showing no attempt at erupting.

On Geyser Hill, waited through a rain show to finally get some daylight activity from Giantess. At over a day, it was still bursting nicely. Infant was still boiling heavily up to a meter, and it smelled almost exactly like Emerald Pool at Norris.

Walked around to check out Plume. The only difference was that the water level was actually visible in the two front/lower vents, and the deep sputtering was visible and sounded a lot wetter.

For the afternoon Grand, there wasn't any attempt at a Turban Delay. We also had a relatively short first burst and a quick second. After this eruption, West Triplet didn't try to overflow.

The early nighttime eruption also had two bursts. Caught us by surprise, as the interval was under 5-1/2 hours. But it had two bursts, and again, West Triplet overflowed after the Grand eruption with no attempt at erupting on its own

August 27, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 26

After last night's fiasco, headed back to Norris when we found no report of any eruption. This time not only was it dark, but foggy as we pulled into the parking lot. The fog got worse out in the basin, such that as the sun rose, it was difficult to see from the platform what was going on with the vents. We did know that there was some sort of push around 07:07 that got us excited, as if it was starting to erupt. But nothing.

And that was the way it went for the rest of the day. There would be what appeared to be the start of the push from the North Vent, only for the South Vent to take over.

Around 11:00 we got a radio call informing the gathering that Giantess had started erupting a couple of hours earlier. There was general disappointment with this, but no one left to head back south the the Upper Basin.

At around 17:15, I went down to Cistern to take a look at what it was doing. It wasn't overflowing much, even though the boiling over the vent was fairly heavy. The day had been so disappointing that I was considering leaving to got and see some of the activity of Giantess. As I rounded the last hairpin turn and got within sight of the platform, New Crater started another push that actually got the inhabitations shouting. I started video recording, and made my way back to my chair as this push died. I left the camera running, fortunately, as a second push started a few seconds later, and this one led to the actual eruption at 17:36.

I rushed back to get a height measurement. I got 65% of 130 meters, or 84.5meters (277ft). This matched the impression of those who saw the start from a distance, that it wasn't one of the taller eruptions.

The wind direction was perfect. Most of the parking lot was spared being drenched, and we never were in danger of getting wet. If the wind had been a bit more to the north, we probably would have had a dirtier eruption, and perhaps even a choke. As it was, North only showed a hint of brown for a while.

Stayed for about 90 minutes, until the clouds and wind shift encouraged us to leave. Got back to the Upper Basin with it not quite dark, and headed over to Geyser Hill. The parking lot was mostly dry when we left, although the exit end loop was damp along the edges.

Did the loop around the hill before heading over to the benches near Vault. At Plume, it looked like there was quite an area that had gotten wet, but Plume itself sounded unchanged from what I'd seen earlier. Over between Depression and Heart I thought I caught a whiff of low tide. I expected more, considering there had been quite a bit of time for grass to grow in the various runoff channels.

Caught a couple of Giantess active periods, and an eruption of Vault. Most interesting was the activity of Infant. It was well above the rim, and the muddy looking water was boiling and erupting up to a meter high almost continuously. It also had a sweet smell a lot like Emerald, not the putrid smell I normally associate with it.

August 26, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 25

On the drive to Norris in the dark, had a bison encounter. It was standing in the southbound lane in Fountain Flats just across from the Thud Group. It didn't move until was right next to it, despite flashing lights and honking horn. Other than that, the drive was uneventful.

When we arrived there was someone on the Upper Platform, prone and in a sleeping bag. I rudely woke him up and he quietly disappeared.

Uneventful also describes the day at Norris. There was a datalogger report of something big happening around 03:00 and New Crater/Steamboat was in some sort of recovery mode the rest of the day. Most of the activity consisted of strong North Vent activity which shut down when South Vent joined in. Only late in the day did it start showing real signs of life, with the biggest attempt right as everyone was headed out ahead of darkness and a windy storm and a stream of incoming drunken louts. Even then, despite the mass of water from South, the North Vent would die instead of getting stronger.

Which brings us to the big event of the day. During the drive back to Old Faithful, it is always fun being cut off from any information about what is happening at Norris for almost an hour. So the first thing anyone does, with a certain amount of dread, is check to see what happened at Norris during that time. I've been fortunate in that until tonight, I've not had to see a posting saying I've missed an eruption.

Except tonight's posting had a time that made no sense. It only about an hour old. I double checked my logbook, and supposedly the eruption started just as I'd left the platform. It always takes at least fifteen minutes to uncover the truck and head out, so there was no way this report was accurate. I flagged it immediately.

Needless to say, quite a few people saw this report and got upset by it. The report was not appreciated and caused a bit of anger at the sloppiness that got it posted in the first place. People who report this information need to remember that those of us actually here in Yellowstone rely on GeyserTimes for accurate information, and it is the duty of those making reports to insure they are accurate before making them. There is nothing to be gained by attempting to be "First!" if that information is flat out wrong, as it was here. It's not a game.

In the morning I expect to check GeyserTimes and see if I need to head back to Norris, or if I can sleep in. I want to be sure I can trust that info, and not have to independently confirm it at a time when I am barely awake.

As mentioned earlier, it was stormy on the drive back, with occasional showers. Unfortunately, it appears that there really wasn't enough rain to have an effect on the fire, and the wind was probably not helpful.

August 25, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 24

Arrived at Norris at dawn, not really expecting much until the afternoon. Turned out to be late afternoon, with over a period of 20 minutes there being three significant attempts at erupting starting around 16:27. There was a second, even better period starting just about the time to leave, with three more attempts in a period of six minutes starting at 20:13. Then nothing as it got dark.

It was hard to tell the smoke from the clouds during the day, although by evening there was some patchy blueness to it. Back at Old Faithful, the smoke could be seen as fogginess and was definitely a smell in the air.

August 24, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 23

The fires didn't dominate the day. The general smokiness wasn't changed much, but this morning there was a definite smell of burn wood in the air that disappeared as the day progressed. It wasn't until about noon that the plume of smoke from down south became obvious. By evening it would have been clearing if not for the local fire.

The morning Grand was a Turban Interval delay, and it was on the third Turban eruption that we finally got the One Burst Grand eruption. That burst lasted just over 9-1/2 minutes, then Grand held water over the vent for nearly a minute before draining. With that, Vent & Turban also quit.

The afternoon saw another Turban delay, this one for five intervals. Grand finally erupted as West Triplet quit. Fortunately, we got a second burst this time. With a first burst lasting less than eight minutes, we definitely expected one. That burst was fairly short, and Grand showed no attempt to have a third, even though the duration was still under ten minutes. Again, Vent & Turban quickly quit once the eruption was over.

One interesting non-thermal item of the day were the otters just below the Sawmill bridge. They were seen first just after the morning Grand eruption. They got out of the river, only to disappear into one of those dead holes just upstream on the west side. The grass looks beat down between that hole and the river, like they've done that before. They weren't seen the rest of the day,

August 23, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 22

Went out early for Grand based on a double interval. Didn't find out until later that the first interval was particularly long, and we'd arrived not much after first overflow. No delays, but the One Burst Eruption had an interval of about 6-1/2 hours.

The mid-day Grand was similar. A Delay Turban was followed by three Turban intervals before we finally got the One Burst Eruption. This one also lasted just under ten minutes.

After Grand, decided to go to Artemisia to kill some time. Walked up, dropped my pack and started to get out the water bottle when I felt the first thumps. Unfortunately, the wind was pretty strong, and shifting, so there wasn't any place to stand where one didn't get the full force of the steamy fog. And it was hot.

Returning from there, glanced at Fan & Mortar, and they looked dead. By the time we got to Castle, there was a radio call about splashing in the Main Vent. Went back, and there was some huge splashes, as wide as the vent and well above the highest part of the rim. Unlike yesterday, Bottom Vent didn't dominate, but even so, the Fan vents started out nice but by the time Angle Vent started, it was obvious that there wasn't much of a chance for an eruption.

After the Fan & Mortar event, noticed that there was a large smoke plume to the south among the general haze. Turns out there's a small fire near Lone Star. The NPS closed the trail and evacuated the campsites by helicopter. We had intended to go out that way tomorrow, looks like that is off.

Went out for a Grand in the dark, and had the place to myself. Interval was just under six hours, and no signs of any sort of delay. Best of all, Grand quit at just over eight minutes, and followed up with a nice illuminated second burst. Total duration was only 9-1/2 minutes, so could've had a third if it had tried.

August 22, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 21

Another smoky day, but not quite as bad as yesterday morning. By evening most of the smoke seemed to be thickest to the south, down in the Tetons and Jackson.

Went out on a double interval for the One Burst Grand eruption, and got a full Turban Delay interval. So that was probably the shorter of the two intervals.

Checked out Daisy, which had another short duration of around 3m15s. Over at the Sawmill Group, saw Crystal in overflow, along with Belgian actually up to and over the rim. I still can't see any correlation between the water levels there and the activity elsewhere.

The mid-day One Burst Grand had to have a five Turban delay, again showing the bimodality in the intervals. The call that Beehive's Indicator was erupting came after about three intervals. So many left for the sure thing. Fortunately for them, Grand held off so that we had a total of five intervals in the Delay.

Later in the afternoon, Fan & Mortar had a nice attempt at erupting. There were some Main Vent surges that filled the vent area. Lower Mortar had a high water level too. But Mortar's Bottom Vent was dominating, and it lasted a long time. I don't like seeing that, and it always seems that Fan's response to strong Bottom Vent is weaker than desired. That was the case here, where the excitement evaporated at the activity died out as Angle Vent started.

So went over to Grand for the evening activity. There it seemed like I missed a Delay, based on the long Turban duration and the lack of overflow before the next Turban eruption. West Triplet started at the same time as Turban, and that led to a true Delay. West Triplet's duration was short, so it was a surprise that almost immediately Rift started. And then the One Burst Grand eruption started. I had been prepared for a long wait, with an eruption in the dark, so this was a nice relief to see it just after sunset.

August 21, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 20

Woke up to an orange sky, and not needing to go to Norris. Seems that fires in California are having an effect here. Another example of how California has to inflict itself on the rest of the country.

Having a Beehive eruption before noon was a bit of a surprise. Was a nice eruption because it was dead calm. The winds picked up minutes after the end, and lasted all day.

I don't know if the mid-day Grand had a Delay, as the Turban activity didn't match what I would expect. West Triplet was erupting with everything erupting behind it when I arrived. It was five Turban eruptions later that Sput D had a small erupion, followed by the One Burst Grand eruption.

Later caught a Daisy eruption in the wind, a two hour interval. That was followed by watching Spa for about 45 minutes. It had multiple large bursts. Nothing high, but lots of wide, sustained activity.

The evening One Burst Grand didn't require much of a wait. Rift was erupting as I arrived, and was still erupting when I left. This time Grand did have the Turban Delay. About 2-1/2 minutes before the eruption booping started, with the pool full but calm. It wasn't until there was a big boop that the waves started and Grand then quickly followed. Because of the smoke and lighting, it was a gray eruption on a smoky background.

August 20, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 19

When the NPS says they are going to open an area at a given time, they mean it, even if the press release implies that they might open early. So we arrived into the Norris Basinat 10:00 instead of the usual dawn. Waiting for the lot to open was mildly entertaining, watching how people behaved to suddenly finding they needed to make a decision on what to do instead. As for the closure, it didn't matter, as New Crater/Steamboat didn't do much for most of the day.

Late, as the thunderstorms were starting, we did get the first strong minor that I've seen this summer. That was followed at about one hour intervals with other strong surges, but no actual attempt at erupting.

In my decades of coming here, I've seen a lot of geyser gazers who have disappeared or drifted away over those years. I do wish that Dave Leeking was one of them.

A while back I wrote up some advice and hints and observations for newer gazers. Here's something new to add, based on what I observed yesterday-- Don't go around telling vistiors you just met about the wonders to be found in areas closed by the NPS. Especially then don't go and give them detailed instructions on how to get into those areas and how to get around the NPS closure signs.

August 19, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 18

It was exactly twelve hours since the last Grand eruption, and I had just passed Crested Pool when the One Burst Grand eruption started. Must've gone on the Turban delay.

Afterwards, noticed that it was getting close to the time for Daisy. Kept looking back as walked to get the bike, but no eruption. Had just left the bikerack when l heard the radio call.

Did get up there for the next eruption, which had an interval of less than two hours, but a duration of 3m11s, which is really short as I remember.

The next wait for Grand didn't have an official Turban Delay, but it acted like one. The first interval seen was about 24 minutes long, and then Grand proceeded to have Turban intervals with all the usual delay characteristics-- short Turban duration, short intervals, and little to no overflow from Grand. This time, though, Turban started the eruption, and there was a nice second burst. It was a long pause, so the crowd had plenty of time to get out of position for their selfie-photos of the second burst.

West Triplet started at the same time as the Turban eruption prior to Grand's eruption, and continued on even after Grand was finished. This meant the duration was up to 1/2 hour, and as expected, Rift started shortly after. West Triplet was still going when I left, for a duration in excess of 45 minutes.

Got the call for Beehive's Indicator, and despite the wind knocking it down, it was a nice long one, nearly five minutes. The crowd was small, despite the Naturalist telling people about it. Seems most people were more interested in getting over to Old Faithful, which erupted shortly after Beehive.

August 18, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 17

Went out for the dawn Grand eruption when it just became light enough to not need a light to take notes. I didn't see a Turban delay, but then next four Turban intervals looked like there had been one, with some eruptions with no overflow, and short intervals between Turban eruptions.

When Grand did start, it was nicely lit by the sunlight well above the ridge. And we got a second burst, which made it even better.

The other day I noticed that the old stairway up from the Sawmill Group Bridge is being covered by formations deposited by South Scalloped.

I arrived back at Grand just in time to see Rift starting, and West Triplet ending. This was the folllowed by a 36 minute Turban interval for another Delay. Rift proceeded to erupt for almost exactly two hours, ending near the start of the four Turban interval delayed One Burst Grand eruption. This one had a short Vent & Turban pause. Belgian Pool also was full at the start of Rift, and full after Grand ended.

In the evening we got another Turban delay. It would have been a nice Grand eruption, with the sun low on the horizon. But had to wait two more Turban intervals for a One Burst Grand eruption right after the sun finally disappeared.

August 17, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 16

Down by Fan & Mortar saw an osprey gliding upstream. It perched on on the top of e of the trees beside Link's runoff channel for a while, then suddenly launched itself toward the river. Unfortunately, it came up empty. It then cirlcled around a bit, and we thought it might return to the tree, but it headed upstream. About five minutes later, it reappeared low over the river, headed downstream with a small catch.

Up at Daisy, nothing much different. The duration of the eruption was short, although the intervals were just over two hours. Lots of Side Boiler activity in Splendid, and I left just as the activity switched to Main Vent.

The One Burst Grand eruption managed to have both a Turban delay and erupt almost outside the NPS prediction window. Just two minutes in. The delay was around 5h10m and had several small boops, so I wasn't surprised when it immediately dropped.

At Beehive, the wind was directly toward the walkway the whole time the Indicator was erupting. Just as Beehive started, the wind shifted to spray the walkway and platform on the other side of the river, and stayed that way for the duration of the eruption.

Went to Three Sisters Spring to watch Mugwump for a few hours. It was erupting about every twenty minutes. Most eruptions were minors, where there's one big burst and some other boiling, and the whole eruption lasts less than ten seconds. Did see a couple of major eruptions, with multiple big bursts, and a lot more overflow that lasts for a bit under 1/2 minute. The last one we saw was the best of the day, with a flood of water coming done.

Myriad #1 also had a couple of small but heavy boils during that time.

At Grand the Turban interval went long. Grand's pool was full, and over about 45 seconds, there were six to seven small boops. There were never really any waves, despite what Grand was doing. Then the pool dropped and stayed that way until Turban started about six minutes later. I was making notes when I looked up to see the pool back to full, with waves. No boops this time, but instead got a quick start with a nice bursting bubble. The rest of the eruption was a pretty typical One Burst Grand, although it lasted almost twelve minutes. At first it looked like Vent & Turban were going to continue, then suddenly Turban got a lot stronger for about fifteen seconds, and then abruptly quit. So much for any afterplay and an afterburst.

Finally, it was time to wait for a sunset Castle eruption. The rainbows were just starting to be visible at the top of the water column from our vantage point.

August 16, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 15

Grand definitely seems to be in a mode where it is having four to six Turban delays if it doesn't erupt then. I didn't see the delay this morning, but all the Turban intervals and durations matched what I have seen after the other ones of the past few days.

This eruption itself had two bursts. The conditions were about a good as they get. It was late morning, so the sun was still backlighting the eruption as seen from the northern benches. There was no wind, and the sky was blue to the ridges. It was almost as perfect as 90% of the reported Fountain and Great Fountain eruptions are described to be.

Checked out the Fan & Mortar area. Nothing much exciting there, although there is no garbage mode, but definitely cycling. Noticed that the Link runoff culvert has a lot of dried and dying slime mats, implying that it's been a while since the last strong minor eruption.

The afternoon One Burst Grand fit the pattern. There was a 30 minute long delay Turban interval on which Grand erupted three minutes into the window.

August 15, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 14

This time of year, arriving at Norris at 06:00 means it's still dark. Last month it was light for the drive from Madison Jct.

The parking lot was empty when we arrived, and over the next few hours a few people filtered in for the wait. The wind of the previous few days was gone, the sky was completely clear and there was little precipitation onto the platform.

The wait was pretty dull. No longer does it seem that New Crater/Steamboat has big, notable minors. Instead, the only sign of any progress seems to be that the South Vent becomes more voluminous and the platform to the left becomes wetter.

I'd just returned from a parking lot run less than ten minutes earlier, and was starting to read a book when suddenly the activity picked up. As with the 2020 August 03 eruption, there was no warning. Within seconds, the eruption was starting.

This eruption start seemed wider and not as tall as others I've seen. The wind direction was toward Echinus, so we never were in danger of getting wet. It took a while for the water to start down the North Vent's runoff channel, and none of the other channels under the switchback had water. North Vent only briefly went slightly gray, then was back to clean. Few rocks were thrown.

Later in the evening did go out for a nighttime One Burst Grand Eruption. It lasted long enough to insure no chance of a second burst.

Forgot to mention that on the drive back from Norris, I did see something erupting in T.Scott Bryan's Tangled Geysers group. I always glance over that way assuming the traffic allows for it. The feature was at least a meter tall, looking a lot like Old Tardy, and active the whole time it was visible.

August 14, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 13

I figured getting out to Grand after a double interval of twelve hours would mean I'd get to wait a bit. Instead, I was at Belgian when the One Burst Grand eruption started.

From there it was a quick check to confirm that the Giant platform was completely dry and ignorable for now. Also wanted to look at Fan & Mortar, who had the start of a nice, normal cycle. No garbage mode that I could see.

Leaving there, I noticed that Grotto Fountain was bubbling. Didn't have to wait long before the pressure pool was suddenly full of water and almost to overflow. It was a ten minute long eruption before Grotto started, and it lasted over 21 minutes, ending suddenly. There was also activity from South Grotto Fountain before and after Grotto started.

The day started out breezy, and was extremely windy by the time for the next Grand wait. I had to wait almost half an hour to see my first Turban eruption, and it was six more Turban intervals before Grand finally erupted. The behavior was similar to yesterday's two long delays.

But we got a reward. Grand quit at around 7-1/2 minutes, then we got a short second burst start thanks to the wind. It looked like after about a minute that it would stop, but at that point the burst settled into nearly three minutes of Big Sawmill Mode. The followup West Triplet lasted only 26 minutes, but the restart was after that.

It was still windy in the evening, and cloudy so there wasn't any chance of a sunlit eruption even if it went early. As it was, arrived at what was probably near the start of a West Triplet eruption. As it erupted, Grand looked good much of that time. So once again we got an early delay.

Fortunately, it was only a two Turban interval delay until the One Burst Grand Eruption. Was enough light to see it. Would have been cooler and darker if it had waited.

It's amusing that it appears Grand has been bimodal the last few days, mostly erupting outside the NPS window on either side. Even this evening's eruption fits in, in that it tried to erupt early.

August 13, 2020

Yellowstone Radio Part 1

For the first time in years, I listened in to the NPS radio channels. Got out of the habit, and had forgotten how entertaining it can be.

Some of the entertainments from the past couple of weeks

  • The woman who, because of a family dispute, decided to head straight down from Monument to Beryl. She broke her leg about a quarter of the way down, and had to be helicoptered out.
  • The campsite "100 yards from the Lone Star Trailhead". These three people got citations for "out-of-bounds camping", a fire outside of a firepit, and a dog in a closed area.
  • The two motorcyclists who were filmed engaged in "thermal trespass" in the Black Sand Basin. When Law Enforcement Ranger arrived, he called for backup. The radio check had one of them with a conviction in 1988 for "assault on a police officer" among many other incidents. They both ended up getting a court date.
  • The old guy who got cited for "disorderly conduct" after an altercation in the Upper Ham's Store over masks. Something about spitting was involved, it seems.
  • The Life Flight helicopter that made it to Old Faithful, but couldn't leave because of a check engine light. They had to send in a second one.
  • The Mercedes that got high centered parking off road north of Midway, and needed a towtruck to get out.
  • The bicyclist who went from Geyser Hill to Biscuit, only to have Law Enforcement waiting for him with a citation.
  • The guy whose traffic stop check included a "non-extraditable warrant from Virginia."
  • The guy who got cited for camping up by Harlequin Lake. It was dark and he had to tear it all down.
  • The people who drilled holes into trees in the Madison Campground so they could insert hooks and hang their hammocks.
  • The fifth-wheel that couldn't make one of the corners at the fire road emergency bypass without taking out a bunch of cones.
  • The drone operator out by Castle who got a court date.
  • The leaking propane tank over by one of the ranger housing units.
  • The day there were three medical emergencies over by the Lodge and the Photo Shop. They had to call in backup from Grant that day.
  • Various boats, kayaks and floatation devices used by people in the Firehole River above the falls south of the closed swimming area.

That's just what I remember and was able to decipher. Should have plenty to post for Part Two in a few weeks.

Observations for 2020 August 12

The middle of the night One Burst Grand eruption continued the number of short intervals I've seen recently. The sky was overcast, so not much opportunity for any meteor observing.

I did have to wait a Turban interval, but that one ended with another of those Turban starts where it just feels like Grand wants to start. The power of Turban, combined with the hint of steam getting thicker over Grand proved to be correct. That eruption was one of those with several minutes of Big Sawmill, padding the duration out to 12-1/2 minutes.

West Triplet started before the eruption, and right after Grand finally quit. Rift started.

Went out again in the morning for the next One Burst Grand. It was overcast, breezy, and cool. Got a Turban Delay with the first Turban eruption after arriving. This one even featured a small Grand boop several minutes before Turban started. Right after the boop, the pool dropped and kept dropping.

Ended up having a six Turban delay, although if one of the intervals had been about 30 seconds longer, it would have been a D2/D4. Several of the Turban intervals featured weak or no overflow from Grand, and short durations for Turban. It finally erupted on a short Turban interval where the pool was full by eleven minutes and then kept slowly filling with lots of waves.

The pool drained after the first burst, then refilled. It sloshed for over a minute before until Vent started having some powerful jetting, signaling the end. With the draining, Vent & Turban quit almost immediately.

Also got to see a Churn eruption from the benches right before the first Turban Delay. At some point, would be nice to see one up close.

The afternoon One Burst Grand was almost a repeat of the morning's activity. There wasn't a threat of rain, but it was overcast, cool, and windy. The interval was slightly longer even though the Turban Delay was for five intervals instead of six. West Triplet was ending an eruption as I arrived, and it started again during the Grand eruption.

All three Grand eruptions today were outside the NPS prediction windows. The first was before, the later two were after.

August 12, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 11

It was a day to do things outside the thermal areas. Although, I did visit Mud Volcano for about an hour for the first time this century. Took some video which will have to wait until September to get posted.

Did go out after dark for the One Burst Grand eruption. Expected to wait a while, instead got an interval under 5-1/2 hours. That's four eruptions in a row where I've waited less than a Turban interval.

August 11, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 10

Found out during the night that there was no need to go to Norris. Woke up to find that Fan & Mortar had finally erupted. Out at Grand, waited 30 minutes for Turban to finally start. Grand's pool was low at the time, but quickly filled and we got a One Burst Eruption with an interval of less than six hours.

The next One Burst Grand eruption was also on a short interval. Arrived for the last minute of a West Triplet eruption, and Grand started less than 15 minutes later.

After that, spent mid-afternoon waiting on Geyser Hill, since Beehive has been having one day intervals this week. Turns out in quick succession, we got Lion and Beehive eruptions, and then, after about ten minutes, an Aurum eruption.

The final One Burst Grand eruption of the day was also a Turban Delay start. I didn't see the previous Turban eruption, but it had been over 25 minutes when Grand had its first boop. Over the next 80 seconds, there were several of them, some to 2 to 3 meters in height. Finally, one of the boop went from boiling to jetting, and the eruption started.

So I saw three Grand eruptions today, and didn't see any Turban intervals, but did see to Turban Delays.

August 10, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 09

Another day pretty much like the previous. Again, there was some nice activity from New Crater/Steamboat during the morning, but by afternoon it had settled into a mode where it looked like it was trying to start, but as soon as the North Vent started to build, it would die down instead.

I also didn't get to see the bear that wandered up Tantalus Creek and headed off toward the parking lot.

August 09, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 08

Arrived at Norris in the dark. It appeared that New Crater/Steamboat was much improved from yesterday. But that only lasted until mid-morning. As the day progressed, it regressed. When we left just before sunset, the activity seemed to be little better than what we'd see yesterday. The platform and rocks around the South Vent were dry, as well as the back runoff channel. A disappointing day.

August 08, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 07

Spent about an hour and a half at Norris to confirm that it was way too early for a Steamboat/New Crater eruption. The activity was even quieter than when we arrived for the previous eruption. Based on this, we figured there was at least six to eight hours before the chance for an eruption, and left.

Got back just in time to head out to Grand. The interesting things about the morning One Burst Grand eruption was the way Vent and Turban died down to almost nothing, then came roaring back. Stuck around for the possibility of afterbursts, but the afterplay didn't start for over ten minutes.

Mid-afternoon Beehive eruption had a slow start, with about ten seconds of large surges to about 5-7 meters before actually starting. But despite the wind, it was a nice tall eruption.

The afternoon had another One Burst Grand Eruption. This time Cent & Turban did quit, and it took nearly 24 minutes for them to restart. Once again there was a short, 6 minute West Triplet eruption after Grand quit.

August 07, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 06

Was probably the last opportunity for a moon-lit Grand eruption, so went out even though the high clouds scattered the light so that there weren't sharp shadows. Unlike most nighttime eruptions, the breeze for the One Burst Eruption was not to the north, so the eruption was nicely visible from the wooden benches area.

With the parking lot scheduled to be gone next year, a trip out to Imperial was fairly high on the list of things to do this year.

We got a later start than intended, and the lot was well over half full by the time we arrived around 09:00. There were considerable number of people going beyond the overloop not just to Fairy Falls, but to Imperial. The whole hour we were there, there was at least another group present.

Imperial erupted continuously whiile we were there. Some of the bursts were huge. From where we were at the last trees before the mudpots, some of the water was visible well above the ridgeline. If my math is correct, these bursts were around 12.5m (45ft) high.

Also watched Spray coming and going. Didn't get intervals, but did see it slow down each time, stop for perhaps 15 seconds, the slowly restart.

Arrived back to the Upper Basin just as the Grand eruption window was opening. Went out and there was already no room on any of the benches, except one wooden one at the very north. Once Vent started, I made my way down toward Rift, as the spray from the wind, while not reaching the boardwalk, was obscuring the water column. Did get a second burst, a nice tall one. And Vent & Turban didn't quit afterward.

Not much to say about the evening One Burst Grand Eruption. Rift was erupting as I arrived. It appears there was a Turban Delay in progress then, based on the next Turban eruption being without overflow and having both short interval and duration. The delay was for three Turban intervals, and Rift quit during Grand's eruption.

August 06, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 05

West Triplet was in eruption as we arrived at the Grand Group. It lasted only about five more minutes. Then it was an hour and a half of short Turban eruptions and intervals. That ended with what seemed like, at first, just another Turban eruption. But this one built in strength, and with the moonlight, it appeared that the steam over Grand was getting stronger.

Finally, after 2m12s, Grand began erupting. The first burst was short, followed by a short second burst. The breeze made it easy to see the entire water column in the moonlight. With a duration of less than ten minutes, we knew that the odds of a third burst were poor, but possible. What we didn't expect was for Vent & Turban to quit.

Up for the next Grand eruption with the sun well above the trees, and it already starting to get warm. This One Burst Eruption at least lasted just over ten minutes. At around 8-1/2 minutes, Grand went into full Big Sawmill mode. At one point, around the nine minutes mark, there were distinct bursts maybe four meters high for a period of about ten seconds. But it could never find a way to quit. The activity picked up a little before it all quit.

It had been well over 20 hours since the last time Artemisia erupted. So went on down there since there wasn't much else to do. After about two hour wait, finally got the thumps signalling the start. Pretty standard eruption, although the steam plume never overwhelmed the observation deck like the last time.

Looks like Beehive has found the ability to erupt daily again. Got the Indicator call, went over to Geyser Hill to see it, and made the mistake of not staying put but instead trying to run through the rain. At least a nice warm day, and dried out while waiting for Grand next.

Saw a big burst out of Depression as I was tying up my bike at Castle. Over at Grand, only had to wait one Turban interval for the One Burst Eruption. Afterwards, watched Slurp erupting and actually putting out a trickle of water. A major eruption.

For the sunset One Burst Grand Eruption, the sun disappeared behind a thin bank of clouds just as the waves on the pool started getting big.

August 05, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 04

It was mostly a Grand day. It started with a moonlight One Burst Eruption just after midnight. There was a hint of moonbows in the steam, which obscured the start.

The morning One Burst Grand eruption could've been a bit better. The sun was just starting to illumintate the tops of the jets. With a duration of just over 9 minutes, a second burst would have looke quite nice.

Later, just before noon, I walked up on the start of Rift. The water had yet to reach the boardwalk. After another One Burst Grand eruption, Rift was still active. Grand erupted on a Turban Delay, with some booping around four minutes before the actual start. The start itself was slow, with building boiling before a nice bubble start.

I did get to see an eruption of Bulger's Hole. Bulger had been having its frequent minors, and I caught one just after the Grand Eruption. Ten minutes later, it had a major eruption. Four minutes into that, the Hold erupted to 2 to 3 meters for about 30 seconds, then quickly draining.

Also saw the start of Grotto Fountain. The top of the water column was easily over the tops of the trees in front of it for well over a minute.

Checked out Oblong, but no more eruptions since the one in the dark. The runoff channel from Solstice looked even drier, at least at a distance, which re-inforced the idea that it had quit shortly before my observation the other day.

The final Grand of the day occurred before sunset. There was a delay this time, too. The standard delay where the following Turban eruption is short, with no preceding runoff. This time there was finally a second burst. What made that a little more interesting was the the pause was long, over a minute, and there were several large boop-like boils before the burst actually started.

August 04, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 03

Headed up to Norris at dawn with the expectation that there wouldn't be much reason to stay past noon. When we arrived at 06:20, what we saw did nothing to persuaded me otherwise. New Crater/Steamboat was pretty quiet. Down at the bridge there was a steady trickle of water, augmented by widely spaced surges from South Vent.

Over the next 3-1/2 hours we never saw anything that looked promising. The weather deteriorated, with a thick gray cloud cover, and no warmth. As for the geyser, there was no vertical activity from North Vent, nothing sustained and definitely nothing approaching any sort of notable surge. The only thing I saw that was moderately encouraging was that it appeared that occasionally the play was nice and wide, and wasn't being killed by South Vent. Was considering moving my deadline from noon to 10:00.

So it was a complete surprise where we got a really nice burst out of North Vent at 09:56. One that kept building, turning into a surge as South Vent joined in. In a matter of seconds, it was obvious that an eruption had started.

Everyone was completely unprepared. It took me 40 seconds to dig out my phone/camera, attach the handle and start recording. I did have the presence of mind to almost immediately run down to the runoff and see what it looked like. I captured the appearance of the North Vent runoff channel filling, impressive how calm that started, only to be a raging stream a few seconds later.

At that point, returned to my seat where I at least covered the packpack in its raincoat. At first it looked like we could get some chokes, as slight the wind was toward the north. The North Vent was brownish and not steady, while the South was taller and continuous.

Then the wind shifted, toward the platform. I had to abandon the area to get out of the rain and into my raingear before becoming soaked. But that also meant that nothing was being washed into the North Vent. It became clear and clean for the rest of the time we were there. The wind kept slowing shifting from down to the bridge to the upper platform. No spot was safe.

After returning to the Upper Basin, went out for Grand. It first had what appeared to be a Turban Delay, which the long duration and subsequent lack of overflow before the next eruption tended to confirm. After two intervals, there was a second delay. This time Grand did erupt on the next opportunity. It was less than 17 minutes later, and overflow from Grand was just starting. Grand filled over the next minute until it finally had a series of increasingly larger boils. One Burst, as usual.

Last night, while waiting for Grand, I thought there was a period of time where the steam from Oblong had increased, and it might be trying to erupt. As it turned out, it did erupt a few hours later. There was a second one while we were still at Norris. So after Grand, when down to check things out. I couldn't see or smell any evidence, despite knowing there had been eruptions.

Also while down there, checked out the Giant platform. Grotto had had a long marathon yesterday lasting until around dawn today. It looked like Bijou started erupting while we were waiting for Grand. The platform was totally dry, which indicates that despite the changes going on around it, Giant isn't ready, yet, for a hot period.

August 03, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 02

Once again went out for activity at Mugwump and friends. The sequence of events there seemed fairly standard-- Mugwump was erupting every sixteen minutes or so. About five minutes later Three Crater would start having splashes, some up to two meters high. These continued into the next Mugwump eruption, when it would stop. In addition, Myriad Group #1 was active. This would start having strong convection at the time Three Crater would start, and last about two minutes. On one occasion, it had a couple of bursts to about 1/2 meter.

The water level in Sawmill's pool is as high as I've seen it since it was active. I thought I'd post a photo of it showing that. Note the small catchment in the foreground.

Arrived at Grand for a Turban Delay and a West Triplet eruption. The latter wasn't long enough to trigger Rift, and the Delay was for only two Turban intervals. It was a One Burst Grand eruption, not too exciting, but nice sunny conditions.

Got to see Artemisia erupt for the year. Was hot and dry and sunny, so perfect conditions, except the breeze was up the slope, so had to constantly keep shifting position. There was also an Atomizer minor eruption, little more than heavy splashiing, at the start, but didn't stick around for any more activity there.

Was one of the hotest days I've experience here in years. Supposedly the weather station recorded 86F. So was a pleasant surprise for the afternoon One Burst Grand to require only a short wait. During most of the eruption, there was a full rainbow from Vent all the way to Rift. And for the first time in quite a while, there was a short pause before Vent & Turban restarted. Once again, there was a short, about six minute duration West Triplet eruption shortly after.

Later took advantage of the full moon to experience Grand. It cooperated in erupting not only before midnight, but had two bursts. The moon was too high for any rainbows.

August 02, 2020

Observations for 2020 August 01

First up was a visit to Mugwump and friends. Spent about three-fourths of an hour there, seeing three eruptions. The last was much larger than the first two, in that only the last one put water down the runoff between the pool and the roadway.

Before each eruption, Three Crater started up. A number of the bursts seemed larger than in the previous visit. The activity there stopped with the Mugwump eruption, only to start back up again about six to eight minutes later.

When saw the activity the previous visit, in late June, there was one time when I waited in the evening when there was no breeze but still warm. The pool was dead quiet at times, and it was possible to see convection and upwelling from and area in front of Mugwump's vent. Today, before the last, large eruption I saw, this area boiled heavily and had several bursts to about 25cm. This activity was seen about the time Three Crater started and lasted for a couple of minutes. It was seen again just before the Mugwump eruption.

Over that Grand, all the sputs were quiet prior to the One Burst Eruption. There were consecutive Turban delays. The Grand pool filled slowly during the second delay. There was never a time it looked really good, then dropped. The progression was just extremely slow. So much, that Grand started having heavy boils and even boops nearly two minutes before the eruption finally started.

Down basin, Solstice Geyser is quiet. From what I could tell, the runoff channel was dry and the slime mat was drying out, implying it's been that way for several days. During the days prior to this visit, I'd seen reports of it being both active and quiet, so will be interesting to see if it is becoming intermittent, with long durations and intervals.

At Giant there was no evidence of change or increase in activity. The platform was nearly dry, with just the usual puddle next to Giant's cone that could have been rainwater. At Oblong, I did walk up to it slightly below overflow. That restarted a few minutes later, obvious from the steam coming from the catch basins near the vent.

Conditions in the morning were clear, sunny and almost too hot. That changed by the time it was time to head out to Grand. There had been distant thunder for about an hour before that, and it was mostly cloudy with occasional sprinkles as I headed out. After a couple of Turban intervals I finally had to put on the rain gear.

While the rain stopped by the time the eruption started, the wind shifted and it got more humid. That meant that when Grand started, the northern benches got wet and there was so much steam it was difficult to see much of the eruption. So it was a bit of a surprise when finally, after a minute of waiting, there was the first surge of the start of the second burst. And thanks to that amount of time and the wind direction, it was possible to see the full water column.

I made it as far as the bridge before I had to wait at Castle for a lull in the rain to bicycle back to my cabin.

Today I noticed that the Firehole River is as low as I ever see it, with the ledge at the Sawmill runoff channel completely exposed. But I also noticed some fresh, clean gravel has been washed below it, creating a debris fan. I expect that when Sawmill reactivates, it will create a huge delta, but what caused this small one? Closer examination shows that the area around "Snake Eyes" & SG-#8 is exceptionally clear of debris, as well as the runoff channel, as the photos here show. I suspect there was an eruption there. I didn't notice this when I left in early July.

August 01, 2020

Observations for 2020 July 31

The One Burst Grand for our return was not particularly auspicious. Arrived well after sunset, but that glow, with the moon meant it was still light. Ended up waiting almost two hours for an almost 7-1/2 hour interval. The Turban activity was dull and normal, and if there was a delay, it was well before we arrived. The moon was visible when we arrived, but clouds moved in from the north so that there wasn't even a glow by the time of the eruption.

The only item of note was the frequent activity among the sputs, probably Sput D. Loud (for nighttime) and frequent, and what exactly is going on there will have to wait for daylight.