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Observations for 2021 May 17


With Fan & Mortar erupting during the night, it made sense to revist Norris. Was there for four hours, and really didn't see much change from yesterday's short wait. So instead, it was time to do some provisioning and laundry.

There is a huge herd of bison (well over 100, pushing 200?) just west of the Madison Campground, and the backup on the road exteded for six miles. At Seven Mile Bridge, we got a bonus-- a coyote was crossing the bridge, causing its own mini-traffic jam. But since we were headed against the flow, the drive was easy (except for the guy near the end who thought it would be cute to pass on the double yellow to get ahead.) The herd was still there on our return, but with the large turnouts there, the NPS was keeping traffic moving.

Went out to the evening Grand with the expectation of a nice, dry wait. To the north was gray clouds showing some precipitation which wasn't getting down to the ground. Since it was to the north, didn't think much of it.

Arrived at Grand just as West Triplet was ending, and just in time for a long Boop from Grand. The pool then began to drop. To drive the point home, that this was a Delay, Tuban explosively started its eruption, and that eruption lasted well over six minutes.

At the same time, the gray clouds to the north were heading south, and building. The next Turban eruption interval was short, and Grand didn't have any overflow. The Turban interval and eruption after that were normal, but Grand never looked like it was going to erupt.

By that time the gray cloud was overhead, and the precipitation was reaching the ground. The wind was out of the north, and strong. The next Turban eruption interval was a bit surprising, as it was short, without any Grand overflow, despite there not being any sort of Delay related activity before.

The rain subsided by then, and then the wind shifted to come from the opposite direction. Then the rain started back up. The Turban eruption was short, only about three minutes long, and Grand was full and overflowing at the seven minute mark. By the 14 minute mark, Grand could have been having waves on the pool, but we couldn't tell because of the strong wind.

Then the sun came out, even with the rain and wind, just before Grand started to erupt. From my usual vantage point, Grand was at the left end of a full arc rainbow whose other end was near Sawmill. This view persisted for the entire eruption, with a second arc faintly visible.

Then suddenly, at 7m13s, the eruption stopped. Of course we had a second burst, but it lasted just long enough to qualify as a long burst, and that was it for the eruption. As far as I could tell, despite it only being just under nine minutes total duration, there was no attempt at a refill in Grand's vent.

At that point, we had the joy of walking into a strong, wet wind to get to our bikes and back to someplace warm and dry.


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Observations for 2016 May 16


Decided we needed to see what was happening at Norris for ourselves. It was a foggy drive to there, but other than one herd between Madison Jct housing area and Terrace Spring, no bison on or near the road.

Spent an hour there, and that was more than enough. The activity was no better than any of the time we spent during the previous wait, and probably worse. The day was turning nice and clear, and the idea of wasting one of the first nice days this visit on that platform was unappealing.

Instead, got back in time for a weak event at Fan & Mortar, then a wait at Grand. First I spent an hour at Beehive, where there was enough splashing to show that there hadn't been an early morning eruption in the fog. I did get to see another Depression eruption as I left.

At Grand, got to see a three Turban Delay One Burst Grand eruption. The delay featured a small boop several minutes before Turban started. Once again, when the eruption started, it was with Turban a few seconds before Grand. Have yet to see any Turban start that wasn't associated with a Delay, or one that was more than a few seconds prior to Grand.

At around the ten minute mark, got a nice False Pause from Grand that lasted a second or two. Then the eruption continued for another minute, and despite a total duration well over 10-1/2 minutes, Vent & Turban continued.

Spend more of the afternoon first out at Daisy, then over to Fan & Mortar.

The early evening Grand was looking good until the sun came out from behind a bank of clouds, and someone stopped a group passing by telling them it was going to erupt. Then the waves stopped and the pool level dropped. But a couple of minutes later, it rose back up and erupted even before the Turban interval could be considered a Delay.

At around the 8-1/2 minute mark, Big Sawmill mode started, and the eruption lasted a couple more minutes.


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Observations for 2021 May 15


A day that was supposed to be wet turned out actually be fairly nice.

Started by just missing the start of Rift. Saw a Bulger minor from the bike rack, and by the time I got to the bridge, Rift was going. That Bulger turned into a series of minor eruptions, until we not only got a major eruption, but Bulger's Hole also erupted a just over the rim. Then it was back to Bulger minor eruptions. The One Burst Grand eruption was under acceptible conditions.

Went over to Geyser Hill since we were well over 21 hours for Beehive. It was splashing a bit, but otherwise pretty quiet. It took a couple of hours of waiting, and for once, it was actually a pleasant wait. There was no wind, and it was partly cloudy. Would not have seen the Beehive eruption if we hadn't actually been on Geyser Hill, as the Indicator only lasted about 3-1/2 minutes. And of course, the slight wind shifted during the eruption so to douse the walkway up to the benches.

For the afternoon Grand, we got a Turban Delay, then had to wait for Turban intervals for the One Burst Grand eruption. As usual, there was little overflow from Grand on the next Turban eruption, and it was a short interval. The third Turban eruption was similar, which was interesting. The Grand eruption again featured about three minutes of Big Sawmill mode at the end, stretching the eruption duration to over twelve minutes. There were times when the splashing was only a few minutes high, then suddenly there would be a rocket out of the crater. Just like Sawmill used to do during it's Deep Drain eruptions.

It turns out there has been a well consumed carcass near Dome Geyser. Shortly before that Grand eruption an Imported Canadian Wolf appeared there and showed some interest in the carcass for a few minutes, then left. The bison themselves were wandering about the area between Churn and Grand around the same time.


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Observations for 2021 May 14


Got out to the Grand Group and the walkway was dry enough to not be slippery. Belgian Pool was down 2-3cm, which is a lot for it. During the wait, Rift was steaming heavily at times, and West Triplet showed no signs of wanting to fill and erupt. So I assume that there was a Rift eruption overnight.

We waited for a couple of Turban eruption intervals, then got a Delay. There were decent waves, but no boops or any indications that we'd have to wait long. The next Turban eruption didn't have any Grand overflow, and one Turban eruption intervals later, we got our One Burst Grand Eruption. The only remarkable thing about this eruption was that it is the first Turban initiated I've seen this trip.

A trip downbasin to Fan & Mortar got us an Event Cycle in progress. Unfortunately, it seems to have been one of those where Bottom Vent just won't stop until suddenly the activity shifts to Fan, and isn't all that interesting.

Beehive erupted last night, but it was still surprising to have the Indicator only fifteen hours later. No one saw the start, but it appears it was a short Indicator, about four minutes long. I heard the start as I was dropping down to the Geyser Hill bridge. And with the wind, I couldn't get much closer than Sulphide Spring.

Went out to Grand for the mid-afternoon activity. Had just missed the start of Castle having a major eruption, but was there in time to see the shift to steam. At Grand, we probably walked up on a Turban Eruption Delay, as the pool was full for quite a while, but never looked great. As with this morning's eruption, the next Turban interval was short and there wasn't any runoff from Grand. So no surprise that we got the One Burst Grand on the next. As in the morning, the activity started with Turban. The wind was mostly calm, tending slightly towards West Triplet and Belgian. At one point we couldn't see the activity from the steam from the runoff in front of us.

Another visit to Fan & Mortar for what appeared to be a weak cycle or even garbage mode. The Fan vents sure can look good for about a minute after they start.


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Observations for 2021 May 13


Another slippery walk out to Grand, although this time it was just frost. I think my boot soles have become as polished as the walkway.

Only had to wait for a couple of Turban intervals for a nice backlit eruption. Activity was easily visible from the northern benches.

Unlike last night, this time the first burst was long. A total of 13m20s long (over twice as long as last evening's first burst). The last three minutes were Big Sawmill, where I thought several times it had quit, only to spike up and start sloshing around again. Near the end West Triplet finally started to erupt, after having overflowed heavily for much of the eruption.

Went over to Geyser Hill to try and get some videos, but nothing much there cooperated. Finally gave up after two hours of sitting in the wind out there.

Down at Fan & Mortar, there was an event cycle, so joined in on the fun there. The Fan vents did look nice for a couple of minutes at the start. But nothing came of it, other than once again, Bottom Vent did not take over the activity and prolong things. I do believe this is a good sign, or at least a welcome change from what's been seen the last couple of years where Bottom Vent eruptions led to no Fan activity.

The mid-afternoon One Burst Grand eruption was nice and sunny, and the wind wasn't quite as obnoxious. Nice lighting, but otherwise ordinary. Again, West Triplet started at the end of Grand.

And since there was a report on Fountain, decided it was time to try and see an eruption. Didn't have to wait long, but the wind shifted such that the steam was parallel to the walkway, blocking the view of Morning. Which made the two eruptions of Morning's Thief hard to see.

Back in the Upper Basin, there was going to be one more Grand eruption in daylight. Arrived out there with both West Triplet and Turban erupting. Saw a normal Turban eruption, then West Triplet ended. Castle started shortly thereafter. For the next expected Turban eruption, the pool was full with waves just after 20 minutes. It took another minute before Grand started.

The erupting stopped around the 8-1/2 minute mark. It looked like it was going to be another short One Burst Grand eruption, but then about a minute later, water appeared in the pool. At the same time, Vent started to blast out, usually a bad sign. But the pool filled, and 1m24s into the pause, Grand started a second burst. This burst seemed slow to develop, and the height wasn't the best, but it was better than no second burst.

By that time, Castle had gone into steam, unlike last night where we missed the whole minor eruption. And it was time to come in, because we could hear thunder off to the southwest.


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Observations for 2021 May 12


A nice cold, sunny morning. The first time in a while that conditions made bicycling out acceptible. Got out to find that Rift had just started. Waited for several Turban eruption intervals, including one which was short and with no overflow, but there was no Delay.

When Grand did start, the breeze was toward the northern runoff channel, so it wasn't possible to the eruption backlit after the start. At a little over nine minutes, the duration was disappointingly short. Rift was still erupting when we left, an hour and a half after arriving.

Went over to Geyser Hill, as it was nearing a day since the previous Beehive eruption. Had heard a visitor report of "something big" erupting on Geyser Hill, so wanted to see if Beehive had been missed. Based on the sloshing from the cone, it hadn't, and those people probably saw Lion erupt.

The wait was mostly uneventful, other than an eruption of Depression. It was cold enough that steam could be seen coming from the South Bubbler and maybe even the new little hole at the base of the cone. After about 1-1/2 hour wait, we finally had water in the Indicator vent. By then the clouds were predominating, but when the eruption started, the sun came out briefly, and that caused a wind shift to wet down the walkway nearest the cone. During the eruption the little side hole pushed out water even more than previous times, and quit at about the same time as the Indicator.

Did a quick check of Fan & Mortar, just to make sure they didn't erupt overnight. Saw no evidence for that.

The next Grand didn't require much of a wait, and we got another two burst eruption. It was also short, and could have given us a third in previous years.

Since there hadn't been a Daisy eruption observed since before the morning Grand eruption, went over there just to check things out. It was obvious that Daisy was close to erupting. That eruption only lasted 3m09s, and had been dying down since about the 2-1/2 minute mark.

More time spent at Fan & Mortar got us an uneventful cycle. A bit of splashing from Bottom Vent, then the Fan vents all started within a minute or two.

At sunset, there were high clouds blocking much of the light, but they were also keeping the little warmth in. The wind had also died down.

Arrived at Grand during a Turban eruption that caused a fairly deep drop in the pool. Wondered if we'd just missed a Delay interval. As it turned out, we watched a Bulger major eruption, then saw that the pool was full and had small waves. Once the base surge cleared, it was easy to see Turban and Vent starting.

It came as a complete surprise when Grand abruptly stopped at the 6-1/2 minute mark. There was a short pause, and then the second burst began. Unfortunately, it continued on strong, and by the minute mark, it became obvious that this wasn't going to be a multi-burst eruption. There also wasn't much Big Sawmill activity this burst either, and it also quit fairly quickly just with a duration just over nine minute. The pool was too steamy to see anything, so when a minute passed with no third burst, we knew it was over.

At that point I thought I saw and heard Castle, with was due. But closer look showed no eruption there. Turns out, during the Grand eruption, Castle also erupted, but it had a minor eruption. I just heard one of the big slops it was having, and continued to have as we walked past it.


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Observations for 2021 May 11


Got up early this time, despite the snow on the walkways and still coming down. Walked out and managed to make it past the Rift walkway. Ended up waiting a couple of Turban eruption intervals, and then heard a boop just before Grand started. The weather cooperated, and we could see all the geysers. The activity ended after 8-1/2 minutes, and we got a second burst instead of One Burst.

Back in the cabin, we waited for a Beehive Indicator call, then headed over there when it came. Again, the weather cooperated, and we got a nice wind-free eruption. The little vent at the base was active again.

Headed out for Grand at mid-day, but first had to wait for the snow to decrease enough to make the walk tolerable. Once again, had to slide past Rift in about one inch of snow that wasn't there earlier. In the steam, heard what I thought it was Turban, but was actually a Grand Boop. This time, the eruption was long enough (almost 11 minutes) that we didn't have any question about a second burst.

In the evening, the sun was out until it was time to head out. But there was no rain, and no snow on the walkways for once. Passing by South Scalloped, it looked like it was maybe a centimeter or two lower than usual, with little runoff. Not sure if it wasn't just imagination.

The Grand eruption started with a nice sized boop, with the slight breeze pushing the steam toward the prediction sign. The first burst ended at just under eight minutes, and the sun came out at the end giving us a nice, wide rainbow. The second burst had one of the taller spikes I've seen, along with a resumption of the rainbow. Disappointed that the whole eruption lasted less than ten minutes.

Afterwards, I noticed that the Spasmodic Group was at its high water level. There were a few bubbles coming up from Oval's far vent, and Penta had water in the bottom vents. South Scalloped seemed back to normal, too.


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Observations for 2021 May 10


When I looked at GeyserTimes in the morning, I saw that Jim Schrierer had just seen the third Turban eruption after a Delay. I decided that I didn't have the time to get out there. I was wrong, as it finally went at the end of the sixth interval, and there was even a second burst.

Also on GeyserTimes was a webcam operator report of Fan & Mortar possibly erupting. So we went on down there, to discover what had happened there. But first we had to get past about six bison grazing just south of Castle, on both sides of the bike trail. Finally the all moved to the side, and we could pass by. There was one, probably a year old, that kept eyeing me as I tried to pass. The rest ignored us.

Finally getting down there, we discovered that indeed Fan & Mortar had erupted overnight. The catch basins around Upper Mortar had water in them, and the boardwalk from Spiteful on north was still wet, despite being in the sun. The walkway south of there was dry.

At that point, got interrupted by a report of Beehive's Indicator, but I choose to not run down and see it. Instead, spent some time taking videos in the area, and caught the start of Grotto and an eruption of Daisy.

The activity of Fan & Mortar at that point was interesting. Bottom Vent had an eruption, and there was some splashing seen in Main Vent. When they started, Fan's vents were strong, and Bottom quit. It did look like a strong cycle, one that usually doesn't result in an eruption.

Caught the next Daisy eruption in the wind, and it did last 3-1/2 minutes. Splendid didn't look well at all before or after.

In the afternoon, caught the One Burst Grand Eruption. Started with a huge, sudden burst. No boiling or booping this time. The eruption lasted just under ten minutes, and about a minute after that, Vent started blasting and Turban became strong. Then they all quit.

Went over to Castle, as it had been almost 15 hours since the middle of the night eruption. It took its time, then erupted for just over four minutes. Starting at the two minute mark, we started getting increasingly longer pauses, until finally it just didn't even try to come back from the pause.

Because the wind died down and the snow wasn't too heavy, decided to go out for the sunset Grand. Or at least the gloomy twilight Grand. Instead the One Burst Eruption started as I was passing Crested Pool. Slowly made my way over to see the end of the eruption, and didn't slip and fall at Rift. (Although at one point I stopped moving, and could feel my feet starting to slide.)

It was late in Grand's eruption when Castle started, the eruption after the minor eruption we'd seen earlier. This eruption also had a number of short pauses as we walked back that way from Grand, and I was wondering about another pair of minor eruptions, but it finally settled into continuous activity and the steam phase.


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Observations for 2021 May 09


It was a cold morning, so not in any hurry to get out and about. It was nearly noon before arriving at Grand, and as we walked up, we noticed steam to the left of Beehive's cone.

As it turned out, there was plenty of time to get to Beehive and back for the start of a steamy eruption. I saw Vent overflow, hit a button in the timer app, Grand started so I hit that button, and looking up saw Turban. So three button presses in about four seconds. As expected, Vent started in well less than three minutes. Most of the Turban starts I've seen this trip have been well after Grand started, with Vent sometimes close to 3-1/2 minutes after Grand.

Shortly after Grand started, Castle started its post-minor eruption. And a few minutes later, I noticed it was off. It continued to look like it was trying for restart, but by the time the One Burst Grand Eruption was over, so was Castle. The last two minutes of Grand were of the Big Sawmill style of weak bursting.

After that, it was on down to check Fan & Mortar, where there was still no eruption, and the incomplete cycle we saw seemed dull and ordinary.

The day was cold and blustery, but it was acceptable to go to Biscuit and spend an hour trying to see one of the large Rusty eruptions. Or at least a second one, as there was a large, Aurum-like eruption as the vehicle turned into the parking area. Most of the time there the small eruptions came regularly every two minutes, although there were some six minute intervals tossed in.

Finally, went out to Grand for the early evening eruption. Walked up to find West Triplet had just ended, and Grand in good overflow. Only waited five minutes for the eruption to start. The wind had died down, so I could actually hear (but not see) the boop that preceeded the eruption by a few seconds.

At just under eight minutes, Grand started to go into Big Sawmill, then quit completely. It was too steamy to see the pool until the second burst started. It was also disappointing that despite a duration of less than ten minutes, there was no attempt for a third burst that we could see.


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Observations for 2021 May 08


With the cold and wind and occasional snow, it was a good day to be somewhere other than down basin.

Did stop in briefly at Norris. Was still strong steam coming from New Crater/Steamboat, and Cistern was just below overflow. (The footprints out to the formations were quite obvious, too.) Emerald was below overflow, and had a more blueish tinge, but hard to tell with the steam and snow obscuring the view. We couldn't see the little sputs nearby. With the snow, we didn't check out anything else.