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September 19, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 18

This morning there was the thickest fog I've seen in years. It was still forming as we went out before dawn for a Grand eruption. Were surprised to see a large tour on the boardwalk at Castle. Must've been a photo tour, as everyone had their camera on a tripod pointed to the east. Castle had erupted several hours earlier, so assumed they weren't there for that. Over at Grand, the steam looked like Rift was erupting, but had to get to Old Tardy to confirm.

The fog actually cooperated with the Grand eruption. It was fairly clear to the north. Although it was raining enough that umbrellas were needed, we could see the jets of water and Vent easily. The photo tour, for some reason, decided to stay shrouded in the thick fog generated by the runoff channels.

As we left the area, Bulger started erupting. About three minutes later Bulger's Hole suddenly filled with clear water that started surging and got murky. Bulger's Hole was strong and continued about a minute after Bulger ended.

After the One Burst Grand eruption, headed over to Geyser Hil just to check things out, and enjoy the thick fog. It appeared we had missed Aurum and not by much. Over at Beehive, it was totally dead. From there we heard a radio call of Lion erupting. We couldn't see or hear it until we were past Arrowhead Spring. Shortly afterward, noticed a rising steam column over the general fog to the northwest. Had to be Castle, so walked over there and again didn't see anything until up close. The view was interesting, as the sun was visible, but not bright enough for a true backlit steam column. Also noted, as we walked by, that Rift was still erupting two hours after we had seen it earlier.

The fog cleared out, so that for the next eruption, it was clear and a bit breezy. Shortly before noon arrived back out at the Grand Group to find Sput D erupting weakly, while Rift was off but steaming heavily. That ended a few minutes later, and was the last activity seen from that end of the group. Saw several eruptions of Turban, and the last two intervals were well over 24 minutes long, but not long enough to be a Delay by definition.

Grand finally erupted one second after 13:00. The wind and steam cooperated so that it was easy to see the starting events. At around the seven minute mark it looked like Grand was trying to transition into Big Sawmill mode, when instead it quit. The pause was short, and so was the second bursts. The total eruption at that point was just over 8-1/2 minutes. There have been eruptions that short, but this wasn't one of them. The water in the pool was hard to see, but it was there, and it didn't drain. The total duration was just over ten minutes, so we had greedy hopes for a fourth, but Grand didn't even try.

It also didn't try to have an afterburst, even though Vent & Turban continued. It was about 15 minutes before the first splashes were observed, and they weren't all that strong.

Went out before sunset for one final Grand eruption. About 15 minutes after we arrived, was surprised by a West Triplet start. Almost immediately Sput D joined in, and eventually Percolator filled and added to the noise. But as with the other day, all this activity acted more like an indicator, and despite the steamy low light conditions, we could see the pool filling nicely and then Vent overflowing.

Grand started almost immediately, and the burst lasted about 9-1/2 minutes. This seems to be about the upper limit for any chance of a second burst, and fortunately, we got one. When Grand ended, I noticed that West Triplet was also quiet. So it appears that things are changing in the area again.

September 18, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 17

It was a gray, cold dreary morning. Went out to Grand a bit early because the weather forecast said the rain was about to start. Instead it was blustery with only the occasional sprinkling that was just enough to need the umbrella, but it never lasted long.

Arrived to find West Triplet drained. It was even rumbling down deep a bit. The area with the sputs looked totally dead, with little steam. No change in Belgian or Crystal, but it seemed fairly obvious that there had been a Rift eruption. The longer double interval from Grand overnight tended to confirm this. I suspect it was after midnight, and lengthened the second interval.

Ended up waiting an hour through several Turban eruption intervals. Finally we got a Delay, which never looked like it wanted to erupt. The following Turban interval was promising, with Grand's pool quickly refilling. With the steam and wind, it was hard to see any waves, but when Grand had a couple of large boops similar to the other day, but not as tall, it was obvious it was going to erupt.

The first burst started to go into Big Sawmill mode, then quit with a duration of 8m45s. Have seen One Burst Grand eruptions that short in the past, but not this time. The water column easily outraced the steam column in the cold air.

Went back out in the late afternoon. Again, the forecast rain really hadn't materialized, but the wind and cold did. While waiting at Grand, the wind was usually to toward the north, but every so often the pool would become visible as the wind shifted to the south. Arrived to find West Triplet back to its normal water level, but there was no evidence of recent runoff as the channel was dry.

Shortly after arrival, West Triplet started to erupt. About 5 minutes later, Sput D joined in and both were erupting when Grand started about 16 minutes after West Triplet. This was another shorter first burst that stopped instead of going into Big Sawmill mode. And again the height of the second burst was well above the steam clouds, easily visible.

I don't know when Sput D ended, but West Triplet's last splash was seen late in the first burst. Percolator joined in during Grand's second burst, and quit shortly thereafter.

This behavior doesn't exactly fit what I was expecting. Previously, once the area recovered from Rift, the area would go into having frequent Sput D eruptions and West Triplet overflows. When West Triplet started, I was wondering if we were about to get another Rift eruption. The area is in flux, here at the end of the summer season when observers are few.

September 17, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 16

The previous night had high cloudiness, enough that I decided I'd rather get some sleep. But this night was clear. Got out to Grand in time to catch a full Turban eruption interval before the main event, and as I noted yesterday, there was an eruption of Sput D a few mnutes before Grand started. There was also a loud eruption of Old Faithful, almost as loud as the eruption of Daisy a few minutes later. The boardwalk north of Grand was starting to ice up after the One Burst Eruption.

The sky was clear and the moon was obviously less than full. As we were untying our bikes, realized that it was time for an eruption of Castle. So waited a bit in the cold, with an elk bugling somewhere for at least 1/2 hour. There were a few splashes, and I was feeling the cold and had decided to head in when the eruption started. For the first eight minutes or so there were lots of short pauses as if it was trying to stop. Then the water play became continuous. When the steam phase started, a low moonbow was visible at the top of the cone if you stood directly between the geyser and the moon.

The morning warmed up nicely, considering how cold it had been a few hours earlier. As I walked toward Crested Pool, it had one of its huge boils, easily 3-4 meters high, lasting only a few seconds. I was wondering if I should get out my camera, but it ended before I could move.

I got to the Grand Group just I received a radio call that Beehive's Indicator was showing water. I decided to stay put, and was rewarded a few minutes later with an eruption of Oblong. Apparently it has been seen via the webcam just after midnight, so this was around an eight hour interval. It was still pretty steamy, but I could see bursts in there, but none of them were particularly big. The duration seemed normal, too.

Grand was again preceeded by Sput D, and it had a fairly long burst, about 9m45s. So it was a pleasant surprise to see water in the pool. Was to the north of the geyser, where the eruption had been backlit,and it was easy to see the sun's reflection on the swelling water. Was quiet strong burst with the small breeze pushing the steam toward the west. As I was leaving the area, the breeze turned into wind.

At the five hour mark, I wasn't thinking about going out to Grand because it had started raining, with lightning and dark skies. A half hour later, the rain had stopped and there was even some sunshine between the clouds. So I headed out, since waiting in the rain is much easier than heading out in it.

The rain never returned, and it was another One Burst Grand eruption, but still nice to see. Was a bit of a surprise, as the Turban interval was exactly 20 minutes, which is short for this year. But a couple of boops got my attention just before the start.

September 16, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 15

Was mostly a day of One Burst Grand eruptions. The first one took its time, and we may have walked up on a Delay Turban interval, based on the long Turban eruption duration,

Stopped by down at Grotto to catch a start. Grotto Fountain went about 3-5 meters high, and preceeded Grotto by about two minutes, so nothing out of the ordinary there. At Giant, nothing happened much there either, other than for a moment I thought I was actually seeing a Bijou pause.

While waiting in the early afternoon, we were treated to having an eagle flying low over the river, then perching on a dead tree. After a while, it took off and slowly circled its way higher and off to the north.

The eruption itself was preceeded by an eruption of Sput D, which did not erupt during the previous Turban eruption interval. I've been seeing a number of cases like this, where Sput D acts almost like a sort of indicator or pressure guage to the system. Also, the new normal seems to be that West Triplet overflows heavily for several minutes after Grand erupts.

The last Grand eruption of the day was the had two bursts, with the second lasting well over two minutes. Fortunately, much of the eruption was through a hole in the high, thin cloudiness .

September 15, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 14

With a full moon and no clouds, it was time to catch Grand again. Only had to wait a couple of Turban intervals before Grand erupted. While waiting, could hear an elk bugling off in the distance.

We had just gotten back to the cabin, and hadn't even started to strip off the layers, when there was a call of "Beehive's Indicator" over the radio. So there no reason not to go over there for the eruption. Just barely made it, but the lighting was excellent with the moon behind the water column.

The next Grand eruption was interesting. It looked like we had arrived in the middle of a delay overflow, one of those early in the interval that lead to a Delay of more than just two Turban intervals. So it was a pleasant surprise when we heard an explosive start from Grand. Except that was it, no followup. It was perhaps the highest (two to three meters) and loudest boop I've seen. The pool then dropped, and three minutes later, Turban started. Again, this was early in the interval, so expecting to wait. So it was a bit of a surprise when the pool rose back up, and within a minute the real eruption started.

In the afternoon, it was back out for a third Grand eruption for the day. This time also it felt like we'd walked upon a Delay, but nothing happened this time. Two Turban intervals later we got the Grand eruption, so it was still a nice short interval. And we got a second burst. It was long, but not long enough to be noted. Most of that burst consisted of Big Sawmill activity, too.

Decided after that to do another bicycle visit, this time to Black Sand Basin. Well, we biked as far as Punch Bowl, and then went on foot past Black Sand Pool. It was pretty quiet, with only one large boil, and minutes between the superheated sizzles. At the basin proper, things seemed pretty normal. We arrived to an empty Cliff Geyser, which started erupting for real as we crossed the bridge over the creek. That eruption lasted long enough that we were able to walk back to the overlook there. There was also continuous play from what I believe was Handkerchief Pool, and from Spouter Geyser. On the way back we arrived at Daisy just as it was starting.

Finally went out one last time for another Grand in the dark. There were several groups of people already waiting, but fortunately, when Grand did erupt, it wasn't until well into the eruption that anyone tried to illuminate it. This was despite the fact that the moon had disappeared behind some thick clouds, and it wasn't that bright out. Of course as we were walking away, the clouds parted enough that we could get a backlit Old Tardy eruption.

September 14, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 13

With a full moon and clear skies, it was time to head out to Grand in the dark. Castle was slopping gently, and the walkway wasn't very wet, so it looked like there had been a minor eruption. At Grand, things were pretty normal. Heard an eruption of Sput D, but there was no overflow from West Triplet to accompany it. It was humid enough that everything was steaming heavily. I thought at one point Oblong was starting to erupt, but after a couple of minutes, no increase and no noise meant I was wrong.

It was only two Turban intervals before Grand started to erupt. The first burst lasted almost nine minutes, so wasn't surprised that there was a second burst, and that everything was quiet after that.

It was foggy for the next Grand eruption, which came after a couple of Turban eruptions. By that time the fog had cleared enough that it was possible to see the water column backlit.

With the day clear and warming, it was time to do something a little different. Did a bicycle ride down to Biscuit Basin. Was surprised when we arrived to find that there was actually a bike rack there. Getting across the bridge was a bit fun, because instead of a shoulder, there's a raised walkway, so a bike as to ride along the white stripe.

Did the Biscuit Basin loop, and got to see several eruptions of both Mustard Spring and Jewel Geyser. Not much else going on during the time we were there.

In the early after noon spent a couple of hours watching Turban. For the second hour, Turban and Sput D alternated, and the latter started just before the Grand eruption. This eruption had a long second burst, over two minutes long, with much of that time in Big Sawmill mode where it looks like it's stopping, only to have a jet rocket out. It's the kind of behavior the crowd loves, not knowing that it's keeping them from seeing another burst start.

There was one more eruption to attend after dark. The moon was out, but unforunately, there were clouds coming in, so that by the time Grand started, the lighting was subdued. The first eruption of Turban I saw while waiting lasted seven minutes, which was a pretty good indication that I was seeing the end of a Turban Delay. So I wasn't surprised to have Grand erupt two Turban intervals later. Again we got two bursts, the third such eruption of the day.

Also, for all four eruptions of Grand, it was followed by heavy overflow from West Triplet. It's beginning to appear that this is the normal mode, except when recovering from the weekly Rift eruption.

September 13, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 12

Because Grand had some long overnight intervals, didn't get out and about until almost noon. Arrived at the Grand Group to find Belgian and Crystal back to normal. Ended up waiting for quite a while, with occasional activity from Sput D, but not every Turban interval. Then there was a Turban Delay, and we had to wait three more Turban intervals before we finally got the eruption.

It turned out to be a nice three burst eruption. It started out nicely, with the wind pushing the steam toward the south, giving us a clear view of the eruption. The first burst ended at about eight minutes, which was so sort we were almost guaranteed a second burst. But when that one ended just a minute later, the question of getting a third became obvious. Because of the breeze, we could see the pool fill and slosh about. Based on past experience, that doesn't mean anything until the bursting started. Even then, it took several large surges to get the burst started. There was no attempt to fill following that.

The long interval and Delay ended up pushing the next eruption into the dark, which was actually good. It's full moon time, and the moon had cleared the trees by the time we got the eruption. Best of all, the crowd of a couple of dozen people behaved themselves, and no one tried to light it up. It was only one burst, but the breeze again cooperated to make the water column visible the whole time. Even the arm-carried doglet seemed to enjoy it.

September 12, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 11

Decided I'd had enought of Norris, and needed a break. The weather was supposed to be cold and wet, so I decided if I'm going to get soaked, I'd rather do it where I can easily get inside and warm up and dry out.

Based on the weather forecast and maps, I went out to Grand a bit early to get ahead of any rain. Turns out it didn't rain. Instead I arrived to see West Triplet, Sput D, and Percolator all in vigorous eruption. Sputnik was also steaming heavily, but there wasn't any visible water.

About 8 minutes later, Rift started. West Triplet continued for another twenty minutes, and when it quit, the other active features quit too. So for nearly two more hours, it was Rift sputtering away with nondescript Turban eruptions. The first Turban eruption I saw was probably a Delay Interval, as it started almost twenty minutes after I arrived. But with Rift erupting, it really didn't matter.

That situation persisted for over two hours, with occasional weak, independent activity from Sput D and Percolator. The steam from West Triplet seemed to pick up at the same time. Finally Rift quit, but it took two Turban eruptions before Grand was ready. When Turban started the second time, it took Grand nearly a minute to build up and finally start another One Burst Eruption.

I hadn't noticed anything when I left the area, but when I got out ahead of the rain for the next One Burst Grand Eruption, I noticed something I haven't seen since the early 1990s. (I'll have to consult my old notebooks to be sure.) Both Belgian Pool and Crystal Spring were down about 3-4cm. This was in response to the Rift eruption earlier. Back in the 1990s, they'd also get murky, especially Belgian. Also back then Belgian could drop as much as 15cm, completely emptying the non-vent lobe. They may have been lower earlier, before I got there.

The Grand eruption itself was pretty ordinary. It was an interval less than six hours, but erupted on a Turban Delay. If the previous Turban interval had been four seconds longer, it would have been back-to-back Delays. The rain had quit, but it was still steamy, and the prevaling wind was toward where I usually sit. Which meant that by moving north, I had a clear view of Turban and Vent. Which was good, because Turban took nearly a minute to start. Then the One Burst Eruption lasted 12m25s, so it was well short of any record.

September 11, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 10

Another day at Norris watching minor activity that led nowhere. We get strong play from the vents, and the wall of water would start to form, only to have the North Vent stop and the South take over. This would happen every hour or less for most of the day.

The runoff was turning white all day. By late afternoon this had extended all the way down to the bridge over the runoff, and even a couple of areas beyond in the outwash.

Also yesterday we noticed that during the morning rains, it appeared that the dead trees behind the vents looked more green and brown than gray. Wondered if these rains, the first strong and persistent ones in several weeks, had washed some of the silica and minerals off. But in the afternoon, when the rains had stopped, they were back to gray. Also the trees along the walkway have lost a lot of needles, so that only near the ends are there green ones. The ground is covered with a pretty thick coating of these needles. A few of the trees near the runoff are also full of pinecones, but these look old and dried out.

September 10, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 09

Another day spent at Norris. Started out overcast, and there were some showers during the morning but by afternoon in was clear but cool. At around 11:00 there was a strong minor eruption of New Crater/Steamboat that could/should have resulted in an eruption. Unlike yesterday, there was some followup activity, with weak minors every our or so until around 18:00. Then nothing as of 20:30 when we gave up and left.

September 09, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 08

A day at Norris. It started out cold and damp and foggy. That persisted until 09:00, well into the morning. Then it cleared a bit, but above the fog were clouds. Those started to precipitate a couple of hours later, with each shower getting stronger and wetter. The last shower around 17:00 as still going when we finally had enough at around 18:30.

Since we stayed all day, that means that New Crater/Steamboat didn't erupt. It did have frequent strong activity, but only once, in the early afternoon, did it look like it tried to get started. And then there was no followup activity, and a longer period of quiet.

September 08, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 07

Grand had some longer intervals overnight, so it was late morning before heading out. A cool morning, but with little chance of any wet coming from the sky. Got out in time to see the full Turban Delay interval of 31m15s. Grand had a nice explosive start, but the breeze cooperated so it was possible to see Turban start, too.

It was another two burst eruption, and this time the second burst wasn't that long. But the crater showed no attempt to refill for a third eruption, and Vent and Turban actually quit afterwards.

From there it was down basin for a look at Giant & co. Spent an hour watching Bijou splash away, with only one slowdown during that time. The platform was dry, despite yesterday's rains. I did see some splashes from Mastiff's front vent, and the back vent was sending low water horizontally about a couple of meters. Giant's water level also appeared high, so that there was some nice vertical surging on occasion. But on the whole, there was nothing much going on, despite the decrease in Grotto marathon eruptions.

For the afternoon eruption of Grand, during the hour wait there wasn't any activity from Sput D until moments before Grand started. This one was explosive, with an initial burst rocketing up about seven or eight meters. It was just one burst, but at least Vent & Turban continued afterwards.

September 07, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 06

After a summer of mostly nice weather, woke up to the sound of rain on the roof, and a weather forecast of showers for at least the next five days.

It wasn't raining much, so no excuse to not go out to Grand and get reacquainted with what it's like to see geysers in the rain. But was able to head on before the showers started, and there wasn't much wind when it was precipitating. We also got two bursts, the first ending at 7-1/2 minutes, with the second consisting of well over two minutes of Big Sawmill. The only remarkable thing about it was that Vent & Turban didn't quit.

Before heading out for the afternoon Grand, I discovered that the ravens had attacked by bike and ripped up one of the handlebar grips. The one I'd fixed just a few weeks ago, not the one I will probably have to fix before next season. Maybe it was ravens responsible for the bike rack pileup the other morning.

Got out there during a gap in the rain, but we never really got wet during the wait. The first Turban interval I saw was six seconds short of an official Delay, so no surprise that Grand erupted two Turban intervals later. It wasn't that cold, but really steamy, so couldn't tell if I saw the start of Turban or not. The Vent start time in relation to Grand says that I didn't.

September 06, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 05

The observations were a bit less today because it was time to take care of things in West Yellowstone. But just getting there was full of surprises. First it was the RV that tried to go beneath the Upper Gas Station canopy. At least the driver only knocked loose the first vent cover, and not the air conditioning unit.

Then it was the injured bison walking down the middle of the road at the Thud Group. It was covered with pine needles, too, so I would think it had had an automotive encounter. Just west of the Madison Campground was another bison on the north side of the road. The time of day was when everyone heads in from West Yellowstone, and I was wondering why I wasn't seeing any oncoming traffic. That was because there was a 1.5 mile long backup due to people stopping to see this one, lone bison.

Before we headed out, did go out for a One Burst Grand eruption. Nothing much to report there, other than it looks like the behavior of Sput D might be decoupling from Turban. There were a couple of times where there were two small eruptions of the sput between eruptions of Turban. Also, two Turban intervals before the Grand eruption the Turban interval was six seconds under 25 minutes. So officially it wasn't a delay, but Turban seems to have thought it was. The duration was almost 6-1/2 minutes, and Grand finally did erupt two Turban intervals later.

We got back in time for the next Grand. This turned out to be a two burst eruption, but unfortunately, the second burst lased almost 2-1/2 minutes. Sput D was active both before and after, with heavy overflow from West Triplet after. This seems to be the latest norm. I expect there to be another Rift in a few days, too.

With reports of a long Fountain duration, we went out there on the off chance of seeing a geyser eruption worth seeing. Instead Fountain started just before it got too dark to seen, but too light to justify the bright lights. With the huge crowd there, we left getting the duration to someone who likes watch the surf crashing against the rocks at high tide.

And between the time we drove over the overpass and parked at the Lower Ham's store, Grand started, so instead we headed in for the night.

September 05, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 04

Decided to go out in the morning even though the Grand interval was well over six hours. Got to Castle where I saw Vent jetting away, so I headed back in for breakfast.

Went out early for the next Grand eruption, and got to see that yesterday's Rift eruption didn't mean a shift back to West Triplet erupting. Instead we got an active Sput D along with frying pan activity from Sputnik and heavy steaming from back in the rocks from Sput F2. The Turban intervals were fairly long, one just 20 seconds short of a Delay. During the wait the wind picked up quite a bit. But the eruption had a second burst, so there was no reason to complain. Except maybe because the people down by Rift didn't get soaked, as was expected.

Afterwards, because we were taking our time walking back to the bikes, we heard the "water in Beehive's Indicator" call just after crossing the bridge. I would have liked to have stayed longer at the bridge, as there were two otters in the Firehole downstream. But needed to get to Geyser Hill in case the indicator was short. As it turned out, it was a long indicator and had to wait a bit. The eruption itself, unlike Grand, got people wet down by Plume.

The day ended with an evening wait. Turban had a Delay that never looked it Grand was going to erupt, and then took four more intervals before Grand finally showed signs of life. The pool filled early, but the runoff was at the expected time. With the pool having strong waves, Vent started overflowing and Grand followed immediately after. Turban joined in about 10 seconds later. This was another One Burst Grand, and unfortunately, the sun had already dropped below the ridgeline, so the lighting wasn't as good as it had been all wait.

September 04, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 03

So the second geyser of the day I see in eruption is Churn, from over by the bike rack at Castle. It was a normal eruption, lasting about a minute and about 2-3 meters high. I was over at Grand twenty minutes later when there was a second eruption, just like the first, except maybe even taller. Or it maybe the first looked shorter because I was farther away.

The first geyser I saw erupting was Rift. It continued for several more hours, and during that time there were frequent small, short eruptions by Sput D. Sput F2 was steaming heavily, but I didn't see any indication of steam from Sputnik. There was even a short low-pool eruption of Percolator.

Arrived at Grand Group with Turban in a delay that eventually lasted over 30 minutes. This was followed by a second Turban Delay, this one about 33 minutes long. In both cases the Turban eruption duration was long, 6-1/2 and then seven minutes. The following Turban eruptions were much shorter, with poor overflow and little sign that Grand was trying to erupt. Rift ended three Turban eruptions after that. Finally, six Turban eruptions later, we finally got our eruption, an interval of about 8h18m, which is probably the longest interval of the year.

This activity was reminiscent of activity that's been seen before, when Rift would matter. Grand would stall out until a couple of Turban intervals after Rift had quit. I haven't seen this sort of behavior for years. It will be interesting to see in what mode the group is in tomorrow. Will West Triplet be active, or just overflowing.

Came out again before sunset, and this time Grand was a bit more cooperative. The first Turban interval seen was another Delay, with Grand having a boop at the 35 minute mark. The lighting was from low, as the sun was near the ridge, which made it easy to see any variation in the pool. There were never any good waves, and immediately after the boop, the pool dropped and it took 4 more minutes before Turban finally erupted. This eruption lasted almost 7-1/2 minutes.

Twenty minutes later, overflow was poor but Grand's pool was high, and rising. Turban started, and Grand kept rising, and the overflow started. Over the next two minutes, the pool kept getting higher and the waves kept getting bigger, until it was pouring water off. I expected an explosive start, but it was a normal build up of boils into bursts and then a full eruption. Vent started only 1-1/2 minutes after Grand, and the whole eruption, like the one earlier, lasted less than ten minutes.

September 03, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 02

Arrived at Norris even earlier than yesterday. The minor activity from New Crater/Steamboat had picked up a little, with notable activity every 20 to 30 minutes. Then starting around 10:00 they started getting big enough to get out the camera in case something happened. Then there was a huge attempted start around 11:07, followed by hours of nothing.

At least it was another nice day, even if the wind picked up in the afternoon and the cover to my truck became a sail.

When we left at sunset, I remarked how the activity of the last few hours looked no better than the day before. I didn't expect another attempt at erupting until around midnight, and dreaded the thought that we would end up coming back for a third day of waiting for nothing.

September 02, 2019

Observations for 2019 September 01

Another of those days wasted at Norris. There was something interesting every hour or so, but it wasn't sustained, and until the last one we saw at 19:15, just before leaving, none had much of a followup.

I also did a walk through the Back Basin and record video of how it looks in the steamy morning.

September 01, 2019

Observations for 2019 August 31

Today was a day to get out and about. Went to Lone Star, where it appears we arrived just after the previous activity had completely finished. So we had a bit of a wait, but there was no hurry to be anywhere else.

Turns out that this time there wasn't a minor eruption prior to the major eruption. Instead we got about an hour and a half of splashing which turned into sloshing which turned into what kept looking like the start of a real eruption. When it finally erupted, it was immediately apparant that we were getting the major eruption.

On the way out, we stopped at the little thermal area just off the biketrail to see the small geyser on the hillside. After the Lone Star eruption, we continued our tour of the thermal features by heading out across the meadow toward the bridge. The area was completely dry, surprising considering how wet the weather has been this summer. But that also meant that we had absolutely no bugs bothering up.

On the south side of the river we did encounter one area where we had to watch our step, but you got into the squish only if you weren't paying attention.

I've never been out to that area, so was impressed by some of the spouters and sputs out there. There area also lots of deathtraps out there, features with large overhangs, or small, hot holes hidden in the grasses.

But most impressive of all was Buried Geyser. It's way up on the hillside, with an impressive, yellowish-tan runoff channel and lots of beading in the formations around the vent. The runoff disappears into a couple of caves, only to reappear farther down.

After we got back, it was time for a Grand eruption. Got out in time for a Turban Delay that had several minutes of Grand booping. It then took two Turban eruption intervals before we finally got a nice two burst eruption.

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 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 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.

July 31, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 30

Arrived at Norris at 05:30. it was foggy the whole way, as it had rained during the night, and there was still some lightning visible to the north.

An hour and a half later it was still overcast and foggy, and I hadn't yet gotten around to digging something to eat out of the pack. It was at 07:12 that we got a long, strong and sustained minor. That got me to put away things and wrap up the pack in its rain cover. The heavy surging continued, so next it was time to get the chair and pack out of the way.

The activity continued, and based on our experiences of the past year or so, it quickly became obvious that this was what we'd been waiting for. In the next few minutes we got stronger and longer play than all day yesterday (or the day we waited last week, or the three days Memorial Day weekend). Finally there was a surge that kept building and climbing, until it became obvious that each burst was higher than the last.

It quickly became apparent that there wasn't going to be a chance to see much of the water phase. I'd would have liked to try for a height measurement, but after about a minute realized that there was something else I could do. I moved quickly (more of a trot than a run) down the switchback and past Cistern and over to the runoff bridge, with the video recording the whole way.

If any water washed over the bridge, it was brief and didn't leave much dampness. Otherwise the two main runoffs were pretty impressive, more than I'd seen before. (Those times were well into the steam-phase, too.) Coming back I saw the start of water coming down all the runoff channels that run under the switchback walkway.

The water coming from North Vent seemed gray, but not reddish or brown.

Standing on the upper platform, I realized that it would make a lot more sense to get the tripod and the other phone and set it all up to try and record any chokes from before the start, rather than trying to react to what the geyser was doing. Sof went back down to where my pack was, and of course the first choke happened as I was trying to dig everything out. But I did manage to catch the next three, as well as another one on my regular phone. There were a total of eight, and I'd have gotten some more if somehow the phone hadn't gotten into "slo-mo" mode. A rant on how phone camera interfaces are overloaded with useless gimicks and poorly designed for use outside in bright light might be appropriate. (For most people, it appears a button labeled "Selfie! Me!" would suffice.)

Telling when there was going to be a choke seems to depend on noting the activity of the wall of rock north of the North Vent. If there is heavy water landing there and running over the edge creating waterfalls, North Vent will start chugging, and eventually choke. If the wind is shifted, say toward a platform, then the steam coming from North Vent is continuous, and there won't be a choke.

The corridoned off area of the platform only appeared to have one or two small rocks on it that weren't there when we arrived in the morning. (I was tempted yesterday to put a huge rock or two in that area, just to get a reaction...) A small rock did land next to me there, but it someone made it back onto the ground.

By the time we left, at around 10:10, Cistern had dropped below overflow, but because none of the runoff made it into the feature, it was still clear blue.

Out to Grand for the afternoon One Burst Eruption. Arrived to find Rift marker gone and West Triplet down much more than during the past week. An hour later I saw the first eruption of West Triplet I was aware of since 22 July. The only eruption of Sput D I saw was during West Triplet, and it was accompanied by Percolator, another geyser not seen in a week.

Grand itself had to have a two Turban interval delay, followed by a Turban start. The eruption was a little over ten minutes long and Vent & Turban continued. While waiting a dark, ominous storm cell passed north, through the Lower Basin, but was never really a threat here.

July 30, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 29

A day spent at Norris, where New Crater/Steamboat didn't do much. Will find out tomorrow (or later) if all that time was wasted.

July 29, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 28

Got out to Grand at the four hour mark since the early morning 5:15 am eruption, and it was already in overflow. An hour later, there was a Turban interval that lasted 38m39s, one of the longer. At around the 30 minute mark, I was considering making a radio call, as the pool looked that good, and it was only 4h55m since the previous eruption.

Two Turban intervals later, there was another good fill, and even a short overflow from Vent. But no eruption. It wasn't until two Turban intervals after that that Grand finally erupted. This was another long One Burst Grand where Vent & Turban quit almost immediately.

What was interesting was the Sput D was erupting with Turban until the Delay. It shared the long interval, and again erupted as Turban was ending, and along with Turban for the next eruptions until the Grand eruption. After Grand it behaved as previously, with a heavy West Triplet overflow that had some weak eruptions from Sput D.

After that it was out to Fountain after the report of the previous eruption duration being about 35 minutes long. We arrived at the seven hour mark to find a high Morning Pool with some nice convecting. For the first time this trip, we had to wait for a solo Fountain eruption, which came over an hour later. With no Morning start, we left the duration for someone else to figure out. (It was about 31 minutes).

July 28, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 27

Looks like the Grand Group has settled into a routine. No real change from the last few days, where we have Sput D erupting before and after Grand, but taking a bit of a pause in the middle of the interval. Grand itself has some shorter intervals, but then tosses in a longer one so that it is erupting at the same time of day every day.

But we did get some interesting One Burst Grand eruptions. The first one, in the morning, had Grand lasting 9m33s, followed by 1m45s until it drained. Unusual to wait that long, and Vent & Turban quit almost immediately.

But the afternoon eruption was probably a record setter. I cannot remember a One Burst Grand eruption that lasted longer than about 13m30s, and this one had a duration of 14m21s. For the last few minutes it really did go into Big Sawmill mode, where most of the activity consisted of low surging and boiling punctuated by the occasion sharp, high rocket. When it finally quit, it wasn't all that sudden, it just sort of died down. Turban finished moments before Grand did.

July 27, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 26

Another pretty dull day.

Another day where I spent a bit of time out at Grand to see if the newest changes in activity are changing further, or going to stabilize for a while. It appears that it's the latter. Sput D (Delta Geyser?) still seems to erupt at about twenty minute intervals, but otherwise is independent of Turban. Sometimes I was seeing it in the middle of the Turban interval, other times at the end of Turban's eruption.

After Grand West Triplet will flow heavily for about four minutes, without any activity in the sputs. That's the last time it overflows, even as Sput D continues to erupt after Vent and Turban continue.

Other good new of the day were the two Two Burst Grand eruptions. There was also a delayed eruption that was preceeded by about a minute of Grand booping, including one that had to be well over two meters high.

Also got to see two Oblong eruptions from Grand. Didn't notice the first one in the morning until it was underway, but in the afternoon I noticed that the steam was more than a wisp from down there, and over the next minute or so it built in volume until I finally got a small surge. That eruption had at least one burst well above the top of the dead tree.

Also down basin it looked like Grotto had a Marathon eruption. Bijou was quiet most of the day. Watching the Grand Group changes is cutting into opportunities to check on Grotto and Giant.

July 26, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 25

Went out to Grand a little early, and almost immediately caught a full range of the new sput activity. Not only was there a nice eruption of Sput D, but the feature back in the rocks, Sput F2 was splashing, while Sputnik was sizzling and Sput A was also bubbling. The only thing missing was that West Triplet was low.

Caught a couple more eruptions of Sput D, and these camein the middle of the Turban eruption intervals. These eruptions were not accompanied by the other sputs. Based on the way the sunlight was hitting the runoff channel and not sparkling, I'm assuming that West Triplet still didn't overflow.

We finally got a Grand eruption after a delay that included well over a minute of Grand having heavy boils and small boops. When it finally started, it took Turban over a minute to start. It turned out to be a two-burst eruption, nicely against the clear sky of a warm morning. Even more interesting was that unlike most two burst eruptions I've seen the last few years, Vent and Turban didn't quit.

Waited around afterwards to see what the sputs and West Triplet would do. Activity was pretty much the same as the day before. There was a strong West Triplet overflow following Grand, with only some small splashing from Sput D. About 15 minutes later, as Vent and Turban quit, there was another bit of activity from Sput D, with West Triplet overflow. After that, there were a few more periods of activity about every 15 minutes.

The first post eruption Turban was almost exactly an hour after Grand's eruption, and wasn't accompanied by Vent. It was about that time that the Sput D/West Triplet activity quit. At the time of the next Turban eruption, West Triplet rose a bit, then dropped, and that was it.

I came out a bit early for the next Grand eruption, and saw Sput D in action without any overflow from West Triplet. But the runoff was wet, so it had done something recently. It appears that Sput D is in sync with Turban, as it was erupting about midway between Turban eruptions. It didn't look like there was any West Triplet overflow these times, but hard to tell as once the NPS eruption window for Grand opened, the benches almost immediately became full.

Grand itself waited just long enough to make in an official Delayed eruption. Afterwards again there was heavy overflow from West Triplet and a short period of Sput D sputtering.

Went out for one final One Burst Grand eruption before midnight. Didn't have to wait a Turban interval, so not sure what happened prior to the eruption, but West Triplet's runoff was dry. After the eruption West Triplet overflowed heavily for about 6 minutes. Only a few times did it look like the upwelling might result in water actually being thrown.

July 25, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 24

Since there was no reason to make the trek to Norris, slept in. Out to Grand for a steamy One Burst Eruption.

Then stayed around for a couple of hours to see what would happen next. Just before Grand's eruption Sput D erupted, and West Triplet overflowed. This happened about every twenty minutes until Vent and Turban finally quit. The overflows lasted about four minutes, and the activity from Sput D was at or just before it started, and then about the time it ended. On one of the overflows, Sput A was seen bubbling, along with frying pan activity in Sputnik (Sput B) and a new (or at least a hole I don't remember) bubbling about two meters from Sput D and to the right of A.

When Vent and Turban finally quit, West Triplet came up one last time, but not close to overflow, then dropped down into its tube. I left about 40 minutes after the last overflow.

Returned about an hour and a half later to catch the first overflow. Has been years since I did that, and in previous times it was always about 4h20m except back when Rift had an effect on Grand. Then it could be six to seven hours. Arrived to find West Triplet's runoff dry, which would be a good indication there hadn't been any more overflows since I left.

The activity from the sput seemed to be synchronized with Turban at first, but after about an hour it was out of phase, then it quit entirely. It was next seen right before the time Turban would have erupted if it hadn't been having a Delay. When Turban finally did erupt, it was followed by more activity from Sput D, as well as another eruption after the next Turban. I wasn't in a position at that point to see what West Triplet was doing, but it didn't look like there was any runoff at any of these times.

So we got a One Burst Grand, and afterwards as I was leaving, saw West Triplet have a short, heavy overflow without any activity from the Sputs.

July 24, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 23

Spent the day at Norris. Wasn't a total waste.

There was a nice large minor as we arrived at 05:55, then another at about 09:00. Then nothing until 14:00, when they started coming about once an hour or so. We left unimpressed at 18:15.

Got back to the Old Faithful area to learn that Fountain had had an eruption duration over 38 minutes. So it was out to there to see what happened.

For the first time this visit, we had to wait for Fountain. About an hour after arrival, it finally started, to be joined 54 seconds later by Morning.

The eruption lasted well over 28 minutes, for probably the longest duration of this period of activity. While there were only a few tall bursts, there were lots of loud pops and wide explosive bursts. The three bright flashlights allowed us to easily see all the activity. We even attracted a couple of people who were driing by and had to come out to investigate the bright lights. (I noticed the previous night, when we left during Fountain's eruption, that the activity was bright from the parking lot.)

Speaking of the parking lot, we could hear what sounded like powerful steam coming from Clepsydra as we left.

July 23, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 22

Went out for the One Burst Grand eruption, but what was interesting was the other activity. Again West Triplet started, and within a few minutes, Sput D started, soon to be joined by Percolator I went down to take a closer look, and found that the filled in area of Sputnik (Sput B) was a bubbling frying pan. Also, higher up behind it in the rocks was another small sput. I don't remember seeing this one in a long time, if ever, and can't remember how I referred to it if I did. Waited for the end of West Triplet, and everything back there quit within a minute or two.

The rest of the day consisted of two trips out to Fountain. The first was late afternoon, and resulted in an eruption lasting 36m01s. That was long enought that felt obligated to come out to the next one. That was just before midnight, and a disappointment. In both cases, we didn't have much of a wait, but the second time we'd literally walked up and it started to erupt. Also, both times, there was a period of heavy boiling from Morning's Thief, but no real eruption. We left the midnight eruption before it ended.

July 22, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 21

A dawn drive to Fountain resulted in getting as far as Silex before we were informed that it had erupted and quit already. Not observed, so it could've been over an hour earlier.

So it was back to the cabin and then out to see another One Burst Grand weruption, backlit by the rising sun.

From there it was down basin for the first time this trip. I passed by Solstice, still in eruption. Grotto was active, and I saw some splashing from South Grotto Fountain.

Waited through the better part of a cycle at Fan & Mortar. It was well defined. For example, when the vents shut down, they stayed off. None of that blipping from Angle Vent that never seems to stop. Bottom Vent started splashing heavily, and Lower Mortar was so full the water level could be seen at about the time a new cycle start was expected. When High and Gold did start,they were powerful. But during the quiet time, and during the Bottom splashing I saw nothing from Main Vent. It was cool, and there was very little steam.

By then it was time for Daisy, and to take a look at Splendid. The latter didn't look any different from the way it did back in May. A few minutes after the refill start there was boiling from Main Vent which ususally shifted to Side Boiler. The first few boils were about a meter high.

As I left, I check on Grotto, and it had quit while I was up at Daisy.

By the time I returned to the cabin, Beehive had still not erupted. The Indicator was behaving the same way as yesterday according to radio reports. When it finally came up, I almost didn't have time to get over there from the cabin. I left as it started, and was passing the Observation Point junction when Beehive started. Fortunately, the wind was blowing the spray parallel to the walkway, so no one got wet. I also noticed when I got close that the Close-to-Cone Indicator was bubble as the main Indicator was quitting. It continued during the rest of Beehive's eruption.

Went out to Grand a bit early to try to beat the crowds, so of course it not only has a delay, but take three Turban intervals to finally erupt. But I did get to see the activity I saw the other night in the daylight.

It started almost immediately after West Triplet started. I will have to check my old maps, but I think it is actually what I called "Sput D". It was to the left of Sputnik. Sput A was a small hole in the flat runoff channel area, and this is farther back. Percolator also started with West Triplet, and both stopped when West Triplet ended shortly after the One Burst Grand eruption.

Made another trip out to see what Morning might do. There was boiling at the back, but nothing came of it when Fountain started. There were also two periods of heavy boils from Morning's Thief, but again, that was all that happened. The eruption itself was shorter than the previous, only 32m10s this time.

July 21, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 20

The moon was past full, but at 01:30 it was high up in the sky. As expected, the wind had died down and it hadn't gotten really cold yet so we headed out to Grand. It was also late enough (or early enough) that no one would be out there with a light.

Rift and Turban were both erupting as we approached. From the usual spot over Grand's main runoff I noticed a lot of steam back in the Sputnik area, and went down to investigate. Back there Sput A, the one in the runoff to the left of Sputnik at the site of North Triplet was erupting a thick plume of water about 1/2 meter high every few minutes. This is new activity to me. It and Rift quit about fifteen minutes after we arrived. Just four minutes later, Grand erupted,

It was so calm that the steam was making it hard to see at times. This One Burst Eruption at least lasted well over 11 minutes.

On our way back, while walking past Castle, it sounded like there were voices nearby. Over in the trees across the trail from Castle there was also a bright spot that didn't look like moonlight through the trees. I illuminated the area and saw at least a couple of people about 25 yards off the trail back there. I think they were trying to camp. In hindsight, I shouldn't have done that. Because it probably warned them to clear out.

Then I called the Comm Center, and for once they were able to dispatch someone to check things out. We talked for a bit, and I described what we'd seen. A companion arrived and then went on to check the area out, but didn't find anyone. At a minimum, I hope that somebody's night was ruined, and word got around that if you are going to camp in the thermal areas, you need to be more discrete.

Went out for the next Grand eruption. The boardwalks down from Crested were frosty, and there was the usual nasty slickness on the walkways past Rift. There was a Castle minor during our wait, which this time was for two Turban intervals. It was another One Burst Grand, but the backlighting, especially at the start, was quite nice.

It seemed like a good idea to head over to Beehive. Ended up seeing a couple of Old Faithful eruptions during the 2-1/2 hour wait. The South Bubbler was erupting about 15 minutes, and it looked a lot like what I'd seen from Sput A earlier in the dark. Then water was visible in the Indicator. This lasted for almost an hour until the indicator finally started.

But the eruption was quite nice. By then the breeze had picked up, and it had warmed up. I was standing on the northern side, and quite often the falling water looked like it was coming right at me, only to veer off to the south. It wasn't until near the end that the crowd at my end had to panic because they were getting wet.

For the noon-time Grand wait, it was standing room only because there was a terrible prediction on the board. Someone had calculated it an hour early, and the windows are already skewed too early. So a lot of people wasted a lot of time there.

It was another One Burst Grand, lasting a little under 10 minutes. But after draining, Grand's vent refilled and pulsed and acted like it was trying for a second burst for about 75 seconds. Vent started blasting away at about the minute mark. Then there was a sudden drain and Vent and Turban went silent.

Went out to see what Morning might be doing. Arrived in the parking lot in time for Fountain, but since we got a parking spot almost immediately, walked out to see the rest of the eruption. The conditions were ideal-- warm and dry and sunny blue sky and just enough breeze to move the steam away from the walkway.

The evening brought a Turban delay at Grand, which probably made the eruption better, as it allowed the sun to drop closer to the horizon. Another Turban interval and the sun would have been below the ridge. This time when Grand's vent refilled, it managed to give a second burst.

After dark headed back out to Fountain, and this time we had to wait a few minutes for the start. The duration was 34m30s, which means that we need to be back out for the next eruption, as things are looking good for Morning.

July 20, 2019

Observations for 2019 July 19

Of course was greeted by a 9m11 One Burst Grand eruption, after a wait of only one Turban interval. That was the only geyser activity we saw. The walk out was unusual in that I don't assocate a strong wind with the time of day (just before sunset). Was told that that it was actually much nicer than earlier in the day, when Beehive looked more like Daisy.

For us, wind started as we crossed north on US-287 into Wyoming at around 09:00. It was a headwind, and we had it the entire drive to Old Faithful.

Also of interest was the drive from the South Entrance. The line there wasn't that short, but it seems like every vehicle ahead of us was paying in cash, so we waited at least a quarter of an hour to finally show our pass. But once we were back moving, we made it to Old Faithul with the cruise control set at the speed limit almost the whole way. I did have to pass one car north of Lewis Falls, and was briefly behind a Jeep that turned into Isa Lake. For late afternoon, this felt more like early morning. I also noticed not a single bus headed south or away from Old Faithful.

And I'll hold my rant on the latest stupidity from the NPS until I get to partipate in a wait at Norris.

June 04, 2019

Observations for 2019 June 03

Since is was the day to leave, there wasn't much time spent in the thermal areas. Set a deadline for Beehive though, and it cooperated.

There was a report of the South Bubblers, so we went out to wait until the deadline. Then nothing happened for quite a while, maybe half an hour. At about 15 minutes before the deadline, there was a huge surge from Beehive, as if it was about to start, but nothing came of it.

But when the indicator did start, it was only 1m02s before Beehive itself started. Of course the wind shifted, so we had to dodge the water or start the drive home wet. And the duration of Beehive was much longer than I've seen recently, 5m17s, when most are well under five minutes.

June 03, 2019

Observations for 2019 June 02

Yet another nice day which started with a Grand eruption. But before that, I found the Sawmill Group with water levels high enough that Sawmill was within millimeters of overflow. But about ten minutes later it was obvious that it was dropping.

Also of note is that during an eruption of West Triplet I saw Sputnik (or one of its associated vents) bubbling. At the same time Rift was steaming heavily, but it never did erupt, with the steam dying down after West Triplet quit. West Triplet erupted again after the One Burst Grand eruption, for an interval of about 2-1/4 hours.

After that, made one last visit to the Lower Geyser Basin. Arrived at Fountain about half an hour after Fountain had completed an eruption on a four hour interval. So went over to Great Fountain, where the water in the crater was at least 25cm below overflow. So that was a complete waste of time.

The next Grand eruption was another One Burst Grand, with nothing much to distinguish it other than all of the afternoon eruptions have had sunlight on them, enhancing the contrast with the gray clouds forming the background.

Down at Grotto waited for a start, and saw first a powerful Central Vent delay, and then a small Grotto Fountain which preceeded Grotto. Also this was the first time this year that the mosquito repellent became necessary, as I killed several of the little monsters while waiting there.

June 02, 2019

Observations for 2019 June 01

Going out to Grand in the morning and we got Castle starting right as we walked past Crested. Stopped to enjoy a major eruption under excellent conditions. Over in the Sawmill Group, there were eruptions of Bulger and Old Tardy before we continued on in that direction.

Rift started just as we walked up, so spent a little time watching the water creep down the runoff channel and under the walkway. After several decades, that runoff channel looks the same despite every eruption moving a bit of gravel closer to the river.

Waited for a couple of non-descript Turban eruptions then got a strong Grand start. It also gave us a sudden stop at a little over nine minutes. Perfect duration for a possible second burst, or long enough for one burst. But over the next minute the pool did fill and we got a sun-lit second burst. That lasted nearly three minutes, turning a short eruption into a long eruption.

For the first time in quite a while, stuck around to see the restart of Vent and Turban, which took nearly 22 minutes. From there, did a quick survey of the northern end of the basin, noting that Solstice was still in eruption.

In the afternoon, we got a Turban Delay that included a half-meter Grand Boop about four minutes before the Turban start, It took two Turban interval to recover from that, and this time the burst lasted over 11 minutes, so there was no chance of a second burst.

The day ended with it getting cloudy, but still fairly comfortable. Went out at sunset and caught West Triplet and then Castle. Stopped paying attention, so it was about twelve minutes later that we all noticed it was far too quiet, that Castle had had a minor and we missed the end. During part of that time, there were quite a few flashes of lightning, and some thunder, but nothing came of it.

It started to sprinkle a bit just around the time Grand started. The wind also did its shift so that the central part of the benches got a spray soaking too. Another one burst eruption, illuminated by several bright lights.

June 01, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 31

The day pretty much started out the same as yesterday. Nice and sunny, so went out to Grand where it started to cloud up. After the One Burst Grand, went to the Lower Basin to see what might be going on at Fountain.

Unlike yesterday, we got there after Fountain had a short interval, and with a short duration of 29m, there was no reason to stick around, or even head back later in the day. The only noteworthy thing is that there was a bison blocking the boardwald between Silex and the Paint Pots, and the warmer weather is bringing out the aroma of the buildings next to the parking lot.

Back in the Upper Basin, at least, we arrived just in time to head for Geyser Hill for a Beehive eruption. Nothing out of the ordinary there, either.

Later in the afternoon went out to Grand for another One Burst Eruption. Nice conditions, but the wind shifted at the last moment to obscure Turban and Vent when before the wind was headed toward Rift.

After that, realized that a Daisy eruption had probably been missed, and we were about an hour or so from an eruption. Which was good, because I wanted to see what Splendid might do (if anything) well before an eruption. There was water coming out a lobe to the north, enought to support orange slime, which was an improvement over previous years, when the water didn't even exit the rim.

What it did was nothing, until after Daisy. Around the eight minute mark or so, the Side Boiler did make an appearance, and a few minutes later we saw the Main Vent. The latter reached perhaps a meter high boil, which was actually about the best I've seen from it in years. At about the twenty minute mark, Main Vent died down and all we saw for a few minutes was the Side Boiler, getting a bit less vigorout. So Splendid is a long way from being active again, but at least it's slowed it's evolution into a hot spring.

May 31, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 30

The weather was finally nice all day. Went out to see the One BurstGrand for the morning eruption, and had to wait for an interval of over six hours. But by then had learned about the early morning Morning eruptions, so that was our next destination.

Arrived around 11:35 and ended up spending about ten hours sitting at the overlook. By sunset, Morning was nice and high, but we also started getting Morning's Thief boiling. Not a good sign.

Then we got a series of huge Thief eruptions about 12 minutes apart. This continued for about 45 minutes until Fountain finally started. Even then the Thief wasn't finished, as there were three more eruptions over the next seven minutes.

May 30, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 29

It was head out first thing in the morning for Fountain Paint Pots. It was also clear overnight, so I had to scrape the frost off the windows of the truck, and then drive in the fog to get there. Fortunately, that mostly cleared out north of Biscuit Basin, and there were no bison on the road.

But there were bison in the parking lot. We were the third behicle there, and I didn't see them until I had packed up and was about to head out. Suzanne never saw them. They were right in front of the vehicles, maybe ten feet from the walkway. Just settled down there, comping away, and they ignored me.

The interval for Fountain wasn't unreasonably long, and we got a couple of Morning's Thief eruptions before it started. It lasted about 35 minutes, so we knew we were not going to be coming out for the next one.

So a few hours later we arrived at Grand with West Triplet and Percolator erupting. Which led to a Rift eruption. Which didn't really seem to matter. Although Grand did have a delay, and several large boops as much as 1/2 minute before the One Burst Grand eruption finally started.

After, I went down basin for really the first time this trip to see a Grotto and Grotto Fountain start. I got both, but was a bit disappointed that Grotto Fountain got to about three meters at most, and Grotto started within a couple of minutes.

From there I noticed that Link was having a minor eruptions, so I stopped by to watch it. It wasn't long before I felt and heard a thump. That was interesting, because I've never had that happen before during a minor, only during those major eruptions I saw in 1983. Then it happened again. For the third time I finally figured out what was happening. It was from the people slaming the door of the Riverside Pit Stop.

And here's what the new view of an eruption of Riverside. It belongs on a calendar sold by "Yellowstone Forever".

Arrived for the afternoon Grand just in time to see Turban have an eruption lasting 7m30s. This was undoubtely caused by a delay. It was three Turban eruptions later when the One Burst Grand eruption finally occurred. The only different thing about this eruption was that the restart was quick, about 8-1/2 minutes.

Later went over to Black Sand Pool for some more thumps, this time from a real geyser. There were some good, strong ones, and they didn't ever seem to correlate with the heavy boils the pool was having.

Went out for one more Grand eruption after it got dark. This too was one burst, with nothing to distinguish it.

May 29, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 28

After last night's long duration Fountain eruption, it had an even longer eruption before dawn-- about 39 minutes long. That meant that we would be going out to the Lower Basin around noon today, to see what would happen.

First we went out to Grand, where we got a pretty non-descript one burst eruption. The it was out to the Fountain Paint Pots.

Waited about an hour, with nothing much happening, and definitely nothing out of the ordinary. But when Fountain finally started, the boiling in Morning increased almost immediately, It took a little over a minute for that to go from heavy boiling to surging to erupting. This was my first Morning eruption in several years, and the conditions were excellent. There were frequent breaks in the clouds, allowing the sun through. The wind was such that the steam from Morning went behind (as seen from the overlook) Fountain, which in turn was easily visible.

The eruption looked as I remembered them-- the pool lifting up several times a minute with plenty of noise in each explosion. Several times there were vertical shots well over 40 meters. At around 14 minutes, the surging died down, and the total eruption duration was 14m38.

Fountain continued to erupt, but we didn't stick around as there were enough of the more dedicated people there who like seeing it.

After a meal back at the cabin, it was again out to Grand. This time we got a Vent overflow delay. Two Turban intervals later West Triplet started, then shortly after Turban preceeded Grand by about a second. It was partly sunny, but the wind was aimed right at the boardwalks. From my usual spot to beyond West Triplet , the umbrella was needed. But when Grand ended, the wind cooperated, pushing the steam away so that we could see Grand's crater, and that it still had water in it. It took overa minute, the crater filled and we finally got our second burst. The water column was completely visible, despite the earlier wind directions.

Again, we then headed to the Lower Basin. In years past, there were cases of a second Morning eruption about five or six hours after a dual eruption, and we wanted to be there for that.

That time period came and went, and we ended up at sunset waiting for Fountain. After a couple of Morning's Thief eruptions, it was near dark and we left the area. There were a considerable number of people there, and we figured there were more than enough get the Fountain info.

May 28, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 27

I think I now have a better understanding of how the Elusive Vachuda felt back in August 1982.

Got back even earlier than the previous days. Not much had changed overnight. We were getting a nice strong surge every hour or so, otherwise it was just lots of strong South Vent, with some North Vent that wasn't being affected by South as much.

The weather was fine up until around noon, when it started to deteriorate. There was a rain shower around 13:00, and then about an hour later it started coming down hard and continuous. The surges kept coming at about the same rate, so we stuck things out as long as we could, but by 16:00 we gave up. There was a social gathering over in the government area, and by then it seemed a reasonable alternative to four more hours of rain. We were pretty well bundled up and warm and dry, but knew that as soon as we started to leave and pack up, everything was going to get soaked. And it did.

So an hour and a half later, at 17:32, an obvious roar coming from the east was noticed. There was never a radio call about any increased activity, or even the start of the eruption, despite people with radios seeing the start. Rushed on over to the area to see what we could, but it was steam by the time I parked in the lot. Another short water phase.

The wind direction was the same as last time, with the platforms, especially the lower one, getting soaked. The walk down to the bridge was in a downpour, but at the bridge itself it was just the slowing decreasing rain. Cistern was flooded and brown from all the debris washing in.

Unfortunately, no one at that gathering in the government area saw "an eruption of Steamboat". Yes, we all saw a powerful steamphase right after the transisition. But what we saw was also to the equivalent to seeing 99% partial solar eclipse. It's close, but it's not seeing totality itself. What happens is impressive and unusual, but it is nothing compared to what we could have seen. In that regard, I felt cheated by what I saw. I waited three days, in far less than ideal conditions, to pretty much see what I'd seen way back in the 1990s.

After we got back to the Old Faithful area, discovered that Fountain had been observed during the day, and we were approaching the eight hour mark. So we took a quick trip back out, and caught an eruption soon enough after the start that we got to see an eruption of Morning's Thief. The lenght was fairly long, but not long enought to make us want to go out for the next eruption.

May 27, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 26

Today was more of the same. Arrived at the same time as yesterday, but this time we weren't the first in the area. New Crater/Steamboat was a little improved from yesterday, but not by much. North Vent was holding its own against the stronger South, but most of the time wasn't very thick or tall. Every hour or so there's be an attempt at a surge, with a little bit of vertical in North Vent, but it rarely followed through.

During the afternoon there was some sun, and it got warm enough that I actually thought about shedding a layer. But then the sun would disappear behind a cloud, and I got to feel the real air temperature, which wasn't great. Around 18:30 the thunderstorms came in. The first wave was cloud-to-cloud, but not the second. We had a number of nearby strikes. One was of the flash-boom variety, and some were claiming they saw the strike over in the farther Back Basin. Then again, after the storm, some claimed to smell smoke, and the wind was coming from the parking lot then.

Finally gave up around 20:30 and headed back to old Faithful.

May 26, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 25

Since the other choice was some One Burst Grand eruptions and maybe a short Beehive interval, instead decided that watching nothing happen at Norris was a valid alternative.

Arrived at the platform around 06:45 to a lot of strong South Vent minors and weak to no activity from the North Vent. That was pretty much the case the whole day. There were a few good surges where North did join in, and South put out a heavy stream of water, but they were isolated and infrequent. Around 18:00, the situation did change a little bit, in that North was now initiating some of the activity, and not stopping when South began. There were even a couple of surges where the North Vent showed signs of going vertical. But no eruption by the time we left at 19:45.

What was noteworthy was the lineup to get out of the park. We came to a halt well before Terrace Spring, and over the next 20 minutes slowly crept toward the junction. No one was making the turn, because it was brake lights all the way toward the campground entrance. I sure hope there was an animal jam just down the road, as the idea of being that sort of mess for the next 14 miles makes me glad I never have to go to West Yellowstone.

What was also interesting was that the lineup was devoid of busses and campers and RVs. On the drive from the junction to Old Faithful I counted only 5 of them. It was almost all small passenger vehicles. I guess it was everyone headed back to their hotel lodgings.

May 25, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 24

No one knew when the dawn Grand eruption happened, so extrapolated from the previous evening's time. Also, someone reported an empty crater, which at least gave a maximum time. Turns out I guessed about right, as when the electronic times finally appeared, it was only about ten minutes from my estimate.

The weather looked wet when we left to go out, but while cold and a bit windy, was never actually raining. Took a quick look at Economic and vicinity, where I noticed that Wave was down a bit, and Economic is actually hot not just around the vent, but has a well defined runoff area in the middle of the orange to the south.

Was one of those Turban starts where Grand waits well over a minute to join in. The burst ended at around 8-1/2 minutes, which should mean another burst, but I have seen a One Burst Grand that short. But the pause was quick, and we got our second. Just that while the total duration was less than ten minutes, Grand made no attempt to even try for a third.

Considered going out to see activity in the Lower Basin again, but timing (Great Fountain erupted as we were eating the meal of the day) and weather (heavy rain) pursuaded us to stay behind. We also missed Beehive, seeing it from our cabin after we heard the roar of the eruption.

Got to see Grand start from behind Castle, because we weren't out there in time for the 5h32m interval. But there was a nice second burst. The rains had also died down, and the breeze was blowing to the east for once, so it was again easy to see the water column.

May 24, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 23

The day started out sunny, windy and cold. Spent some time on Geyser Hill since it was approaching 24 hours since the previous Beehive eruption, but it wasn't going to cooperate.

After that, went out for another wet eruption of Grand. One where there wasn't much to see after the start again, because of the wind direction. The wind and rain starting didn't help, either.

The the eruption of Morning the day before, and a report of Fountain in eruption in the morning, it seemed like a good idea to go out there and see what would happen next. Turns out, not much.

Didn't know it at the time, but got there only 3-1/2 hours after a second Fountain eruption. That Clepsydra was shutting down should have been a good clue that we'd missed an eruption, but the whole area was wet because of the rain and snow, and nothing was steaming. It was also confusing as the water level in both Fountain and Morning were high. Water was visible in Fountain from the overlook.

During the next couple hours, Clepsydra kept shutting down, and the geysers kept rising. But the weather turned acceptible, if a bit windy. Eventually, by 15:30, Fountain had water visible well into the neck. That's when things stalled out. Jet was acting like it was erupting, but there was only noise, no water. Clepsydra came on and stayed on. A few hours later, approaching what we thought was well over ten hours, the water level in Fountain began to drop. There was increased boiling in Morning's Thief, which is supposed to be a sure sign of Fountain erupting eventually. By the time we left, around 19:30, Fountain was almost out of sight, and back to about where it was when we arrived.

So we got to see what happens between Fountain eruptions, without actually seeing any Fountain eruptions.

May 23, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 22

It took the webcam noticing Beehive's Indicator to roust us out of our nice warm cabin and go out into the cold air. Arrived at Beehive just in time to see the Bubblers erupting just before Beehive's explosive start. The bubblers came back 2m50s into Beehive's eruption, and lasted about 50 seconds, reaching a height of about 1/2 meter during much of that time.

Later it was finally out to Grand to see it erupt. Got out in time for a long, over six minute duration Turban eruption, which was followed by a just barely Delay. Of course that resulted in a long One Burst Grand eruption, white steam on a gray background with the wind casuing the spray to land around West Triplet and Rift.

A quick check down basin showed nothing much of interest, other than Solstice was again, or still, in eruption.

Later went out for the evening Grand. The cold and wind wasn't too unpleasant, but the wind shifted just before the Grand eruption, and kept shifting during the eruption, so that all the walkway got wet at some point, and the steam made it difficult to actually see the eruption.

The first burst lasted a bit over 9-1/2 minutes, so the expectation was for a one burst with Vent and Turban continuing. But about a minute later, those two became quite vigorous, and then the steam parted enough to see the start of a second burst. That burst lasted 2m15s, so what was a short eruption became a long one.

I see that "vista enhancement" is possible in some areas of the partk. Over a dozen large trees that were blocking the view of the Inn from Old Faithful have been replaced by fresh stumps.

May 22, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 21

It was a day to finally get out into the Upper Basin and see what was different from last October. It was also gray and breezy and not warm.

The bike rack placement is interesting. There's one as you approach Castle, down in the primary spray zone from the geyser and in prime selfie territory. It's also butted up against the curbing, so that one side is useless. It's about as far from the boardwalk as possible and still be "at Castle." There's a small one across from the southern Daisy trail. I guess it's purpose is to encourage people to not ride directly up to the benches at Daisy. There's a small one at Grotto, which will be inadequate should Giant reactivate. The final bikerack was dumped next to Backwater Spring, on the trail to the now closed Pit Of Eternal Stench.

The replacement Pit is interesting too. Gonna appear in more than a few Riverside eruption photos and videos, I would guess. (Which is somehow appropriate for Riverside.) Next to it is a big spoil pile of sinter dug out to make room for the vault below. That tends to offend me, as there is no reason for the NPS to be digging in thermal areas. Especially when that digging is done with active, flowing springs uphill from the hole. The overflow from Victory hasn't reached that far yet, but you can see the swath of dead trees from its previous activity pointed right at this new building.

Grotto was having a marathon eruption, but down by Oblong we saw Solstice in eruption. It's a feature I've never seen before, so I could be wrong, It's east of Oblong on the other side of the river, and the eruption looked a lot like Old Tardy or Terra Cotta A (the big one).

With nothing much else going on, and Fountain having long durations, we went out there for the early afternoon eruption. The weather forecast said that there could be showers in the early afternoon, and that's what we got. We waited an hour or so, and the rain finally came just when Morning's Thief had its first eruption. Previously I've seen that feature erupt to maybe 3 or 4 meters, but this was between 10 and 15, and quite impressive. There was a second one, just as large, before Fountain finally started.

We got one more Thief eruption, and that seemed even more massive and taller than the previous activity. Then it was wating out the Fountain eruption to get the duration. The wind and rain both picked up during this time, and unfortunately that was coming in the same direction as the view we needed. Fountain's steam made it impossible to see the eruption, and the boardwalk.

What got our attention, and the reason we were there was that Fountain durations were well over the magic 38m mark that said Morning might do something. This eruption lasted about 39m12, which made it shorter than the previous know durations for the week. With the weather the way it was, it was a relief to go back to a dry vehicle and head in.

One thing I noticed today, something which may have been there for years. It's that under the first 45mph sign as you head out of the Old Faithful area has a smaller sign posted below it. In tiny print, it says "Slower Traffic Use Turnouts". Over the next few weeks, will report any other, similar sightings.

May 21, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 20

It was back to Norris. We left Old Faithful with it snowing, and it continued all through the drive. We arrived on the platform at 07:15, where the wait began.

For the next eight hours, it was pretty quiet. There were occasions where the strength of a surge was worthy of noting. There were a couple at 08:03 and 09:35, but no followups. That was it until couple more at 13:42 and 14:21. Again, it briefly looked good to a number of us, but nothing else happened.

The conditions were for the wait were poor. The snow continued off and on for the first few hours. Finally the clouds broke and there was even some warmth from the sun which dried things out. But sleet started around 13:00, and that turned into rain, which persisted for about an hour. The little wind we had was blowing toward the platforms, which made observations difficult, especially for the south vent.

So by 15:13, it was pretty damp, and cloudy, but no precipitation. There were a couple of quick surges that got my atttention, so much so that after a third one, I dug out the camera to start recording.

I got two minutes leading up to the start of the eruption. The surges were coming several a minute by then, and there were two huge ones in the seconds before the start. As the water climbed, rocks could be seen falling next to the column. The column itself was lost against the gray sky backdrop. But the upper platform was pelted by what seemed at first to be hail. It turned out it was gravel ejected by the eruption.

Because of the wind direction, none of the water fell upslope from the north vent. That's probably why the water columns never turned brown, and also probably why the water phase lasted at most three minutes. I noticed the vents in loud, strong steam at the 3m45s mark, although the north vent would could occasionally be seen throwing water later on.

Also because of the wind direction, there are new runoff channels being developed all down the slope between the main runoff and Cistern. I got down to the bridge before any footprints appeared in the mud washed over the walkway, and there was rocks all over the bridge, and some fairly big ones (cherry tomato sized) too.

The wind kept shifting, but the rain was localized, so at times one or the other platform, or part of the walkway, was being drenched, while the rest of the area was not. At one point, as I was moving stuff back to the parking lot, I even got rained on near Emerald. Even so, everything got drenced, and the blankets we were using to keep warm can hold a lot of water in them. The parking lot, however, never seems to have been a target, so this eruption was a lot like the first one seen last May.

Later that evening, Suzanne noted that Grand had been having a long series of sub-five hour intervals, and we were approaching the five hour mark. So we went out at sunset to see a couple of Turban intervals. The second one didn't officially qualify as a Delay, but was close enough. And since it was after sunset, we didn't stick around in the windy cold. Turns out it was a Two Turban Delay, and we made the right decision.

May 20, 2019

Observations for 2019 May 19

We arrived at the Lower Ham's Store at 14:05, a little over 9.5 hours after leaving home. All during the drive we expected to see a notice that someone had noticed a New Crater/Steamboat eruption on the seismograph trace. the last two intervals had been less than six days, and we were well over five days when we left. But nothing. So we were there long enough to drop off the bikes from the back of the truck and then head to Norris.

An hour later we were on the platform, joining the small group who reported seeing nothing much that was encouraging. We spent four hours there, and except for a twenty minute period midway through our wait, we saw nothing encouraging too. Most of the play was either by one or the other vent, but not together. The exception was several sustained, concerted surges aroun 17:10 . We weren't really prepared for an extended wait in temperatures in the upper 30s, either.

It didn't erupt on our drive back to check in to our Old Faithful Lodge cabin, so the plan is to get up at dawn and head north again. This time properly prepared for a day long wait.