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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.