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Observations for 2020 September 05

Earlier this visit I'd walked north from Artemisia to kill some time. Not much to see along this trail, as the trees are thick and the trail is still an old roadway. But caught an eruption of Cauliflower, and decided I should try to get an interval. Today was the day to do that.

Turns out the interval I saw was 43 minutes, and the duration and size of the eruption was a heavy boiling that lasted about 90seconds. This matches my memories from long ago, so it appears Cauliflower's basic behavior hasn't changed much.

From there headed over to Grand. Had a two Turban interval delay before we got a nice two burst eruption. This time, at least, the eruption was long enough that not getting a third wasn't a disappointment.

Went out early evening for Castle, and managed to have it start while on the bike between the Lodge and the Lower Store. But it was still an interesting eruption. The Lone Star Fire had flared up yesterday, and today was huge. Behind Castle, with its intermittent rainbows, was a huge, billowing black cloud.

Went over to Grand early, and may have missed an early Turban interval delay. As it was, four Turban intervals later, just as the sun was setting, Grand had another long Turban interval. So the One Burst Grand Eruption took place just before it became too dark to see much, two Turban intervals later.

But the real fun of the day was the fire situation. Mid afternoon the NPS closed the road from Kepler Falls over Craig Pass. That this is the Saturday of a three day holiday weekend meant there were lots more people around today, including those who aren't intending to stay in the area overnight. This closure, along with the overpass detour, created a huge traffic mess. The mess was made worse because of numerous animal jams as people stopped to get a selfie of a bison along the road.

At one point, the road from Faithful all the way to the West Entrance was gridlocked. It didn't help that there were people with cardboard signs saying "Old Faithful Closed" encouraging people to make improper u-turns and further block traffic. And, the road near Mud Volcano was again closed to do more cleanup after a gasoline tanker spill in that area. (Who exactly was the genius who decided that work couldn't wait until Tuesday?).