Like today (see previous posting.)
There was a small shower between the time I went to sleep and midnight, when I got up. Just enough to wet things down, and make sure they stayed wet all night. When I got out to Grand, it was still above freezing, and dead calm. Usually there's a slight, imperceptible movement of air down-valley, most noticible by the way all the steam clouds tilt slightly in that direction. Tonight, it was straight up. Comet and the sputs of the Daisy group were putting a steamcloud hundreds of feet in the air.
At Grand, this presents a problem. The runoff is all between you and the geysers, and so end up blocking your view. Being back-lit by the moon would make things visible, but that not an option (at least a legal one).. As seen from the northern end of the line of benches, I saw a solid wall of steam that was sharply deliniiated by Vent, extending all the way to the right along the runoff channel. All other views were worse. Oh, well.
Got back out into the basin around 05:30, light enough that it was obvious that today was, at least in terms of weather, going to be the best day of my visit. Out at Giant, though, the platform was dead. An hour sitting resulting in seeing nothing, and it was on to Grand.
I got there on what appeared to be a delay type overflow, and even Percolator quiet, so I was expecting a bit of a wait. Grand had other ideas, and instead erupted over a minute after Turban started. And the second burst missed being a "long" by 8 seconds.
After that, the choices were between the Monkey Cage at Giant or Daisy. So I got to see Splendid's "Side Boiler" for the first time. It was active most of the time during my 20 minute wait, and even started up about 8 minutes after Daisy, along with some weak side vent activity.
Now there was no choice, it was off to Giant. I plopped down back about halfway between the Indicator Pool and the junction to the platform, with a decent view of Mastiff and co., and decided it was time for breakfast (Cheerios mixed with left over trail mix). I noticed no activity from Bijou. Now I wasn't there that long, and it may have already gone into the shutdown, but the lack of activity wasn't attracting any notice. No sooner than I started to feed than I heard comments from the Cage about how it looked like Mastiff was rising.
I stood up, and it was. (Here I've got a minor quibble: I had to give the announcement about rising Mastiff because despite there being over a dozen people in the Cage, all with a better view, no one else did. Every second counts.)
At that point, the hot period preceded fairly normally for the first four or five minutes, giving me plenty of time to put away the food, rearrange the pack and dig out items I expected to need, like the umbrella. But by then, one thing was obvious: Mastiff was not going to wimp out after a couple of small boils. While it stopped a few times, every time it came back stronger.
Around the 9 minute mark, Mastiff was in eruption on its own, with continuous water from both vents well above the cone of Giant. Giant, however, seemed like it didn't want to start, with splashes not much bigger than those I saw last week 24 hours before it finally erupted. Mastiff continued, with Catfish joining in. Somewhere in that direction one of the vents was jetting loud steam, but I couldn't tell which. Finally, after 11m20s, Giant had a splash big enough to set it off.
I'd stationed myself at the front right corner, as close as you can get. (If no one else is gonna take that spot, I sure will.) The wind was almost perpendicular to my line of sight, but still expected that I might need the umbrella. Even though for a few moments, the tip of the water column was directly at my zenith, and I could see the water slowly droping straight for me, the wind eventually moved the water just a few feet over. Tall?yes. How tall? No idea.
Only one marker sign moved, the "Giant" one, and even it moved only a few feet and landed upright. The wind was just enough to push the steam away, so we never didn't have a bad view of Giant once it started. I wanted to take some pictures, but my ancient camera decided that it was time to go from yesterday's "full charge" to "empty".
Well into the eruption one of the NPS Naturalists announced that there was a peregrine falcon down toward Morning Glory. Someone needs to take her aside and get her priorities straight. Or at least to recognize the priorities of many of those people milling about.
Now that I've had my platform start for this trip, I can try other places, if the mood suits. I still want to try to measure the height of the first minute's water, and wouldn't mind seeing a start from Grand.
I expect the rest of the day to be pretty dull, so don't expect more than the briefest of a posting tomorrow
Other Geyser Times
31 May 2007
- Rift 01:17
- Giant hot period 09:28 d=11m20s, eruption