From in front of the Lodge, there seemed to be quite a bit of steam in the direction of Grand. Since I'd decided to add in an extra half hour of sleep, that meant I might have missed the eruption. Things didn't look any better as I tied my bike up at Castle. But As I came up from the bridge it became obvious that all the steam was from Rift and West Triplet both erupting. That was a sort of relief.
As it turned out, West Triplet ended almost immediately, and then I was surprised by Rift quitting within 20 minutes. And unusually short eruption. but unfortunately, it didn't result in a Grand eruption interval that was any shorter than usual.
It was dead calm, so the mosquitoes were annoying, despite the early morning cold. But that also meant that Grand's steam cloud went straight up during the eruption, just like those down basin from eruptions of Daisy and Oblong. Grand took advantage of the conditions for once, and proceeded to first quit a about 7.5 minutes, then have three bursts. After all the one bursts, was a nice change.
On the trip out to Grand, I encountered a coyote which ran across in front of me as I passed by the new Cathedral. Then out at Grand, once I'd settled in, a coyote followed the same path in front of me through Grand's runoff as on the other night. Coming back people had to contend with a bison that decided that the bike rack at the Lower Ham's Store was the perfect place to bed down..
Got the call for Beehive's Indicator as was finishing up breakfast. Since it was fairly early, there wasn't the usual crush of people, so decided to watch from multiple viewpoints. along that trail. From Blue Star, we got some nice rainbows. But between Beehive and Old Faithful is not the best place to see a concerted eruption.
At East Chinaman I noticed something that seemed unusual. The formations around the feature are a strange grayish green color, all the way to the rim. The color looks a lot like it could be some sort of slime or bacteria, or could be mineral. But except for a couple of small patches, there wasn't any of the usual orange colors. Quite a contrast to Chinaman, which was normal looking in its coloration, with the area immediately next to the vent a sinter gray and the orange only starting once the water cooled a bit.
After that it was nap time, and I awoke several hours later. Nothing much was going on until there came a call saying that there had been splash in Fan & Mortar's Main Vent. There had been no pauses or any other unusual behavior before that, and the vents looked okay but not great. Later reports were that the activity seemed to be getting stronger, then after a few minute, got a report that things had died down. At that point I had gotten myself ready to head out, but just didn't think it was worth the effort. A slight "event" at 3.5 days seems like a long-shot.
Then came the report that the vents had gained strength, and were looking good. I decided that I would hate myself if I at least didn't start making an effort to get down there. I threaded my way through the crowd gathered for an Old Faithful eruption, and then encountered a herd of Boy Scout who were all over the trail. But despite that, I made good time getting down basin, and my bike speedometer said I got up to 22.5 mph going down.
As I passed Oblong, the reports were such that I was expecting to see the start from my bike. But as I passed Grotto, there was still no eruption. I made it by about 30 seconds to spare. The High Vent was huge, but the other vents weren't as big as I'd have expected. Then the surging in Main Vent started, and the eruption was on.
The wind was all over the place. From well north of Spiteful to the bridge, no place was safe. Since I arrived with so little time to spare, I wasn't fully prepared for the eruption. My pant legs got soaked, and I resigned myself to getting dry later. Because of the wind and the lack of preparation, I also didn't try to get any photos, but there were some nice circular rainbows.
As the eruption wound down, the sky to the south-east started getting blacker. As it was the start of the Grand window, and because I didn't want go back and forth to the cabin in a rain, I headed over to Grand. The rain started as I walked over from Castle, and I was headed upstream in a continuous line of wet people headed in. I arrived in time for an eruption of West Triplet to start, but the rain didn't last long, that time.
The eruption of West Triplet lasted over 40 minutes, and as it ended, Rift started. Estimating that the earlier eruption started at 04:30, the eruption at 15:22 meant about an eleven hour interval, which is much shorter than I'm used to. Rift was still erupting over two hours later when Grand finally erupted.
That eruption took place just as another storm was threatening to douse the basin. It came on the third Turban after a Vent-type delay. After a week of no such delays, not it seems most every interval is having one. The eruption itself was unremarkable, a 10-1/2 minute one burst with Vent and Turban continuing. I took off without waiting to see the afterplay, and got back to the cabin just as the sprinkles started.
On the way back it was noted that Dome was active. Not sure what that means.
The last few days the Firehole River has dropped about a foot from where it was when I arrived last week, and it has also gone from muddy brown to clear. The level is approaching what I would consider more normal for early July.