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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.