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Observations for 30 July 2012


By this morning the paper plate had disappeared.

The Grand eruption was the first three-burst for this trip. Occurred right as the sun was coming over the hill, so only the very tops of the second and third bursts were directly illuminated. The noon-time eruption was a two-burst so this day has already had more bursts that a four-Grand day last week, and there's one more eruption to go.

Fan & Mortar didn't erupt over night, and there wasn't an event witnessed all day. Overnight looks about right.

The evening Grand was also unremarkable, although it did wrap up a 7-burst day for Grand, bursts spread over three eruptions.

And I'm so tired of Donnie. I wish he'd just "go to five" and stay there so I don't have to hear that call every ten minutes.


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Observations for 29 July 2012



Grand Plate #1


Grand Plate  #2


Grand's Plate, before and after eruption

So it looks like the plate that went into Grand last night didn't make it very far out. And that two subsequent eruptions have not been enough to dislodge it. The eruption itself was a typical one-burst in dead calm, so quite pretty, but Grand made no attempt to even refill after that burst ended.

In the middle of the afternoon there was a minor event down at Fan & Mortar, but nothing much came of it. Of course I heard the radio call after I had returned to my cabin from taking a well-needed shower.

West Triplet was splashing away as I tied my bike up at Castle for the late afternoon Grand. Since it had been a while since the last known Rift eruption, wasn't surprised when it started. But what was a surprise was that Grand stayed up and high, and started having waves. It wasn't quite long enough to be considered a delay, but came close.

Before the eruption, the plate did get pushed around a bit by the wind, but it stayed in the general area it had been in all day. It seems that maybe the water it was in was keeping it in place, because after the Grand eruption, a gust of wind blew it all the way across to the Sputnik area. Further gusts moved it closed to Rift. I was kinda looking forward to it going downstream, too.

There wasn't much remarkable about the fourth Grand eruption of the day, other than it was the third Grand eruption between consecutive Beehive eruptions. I'm waiting for the day we get two Grands between a pair of Riverside eruptions.

The eruption itself was nicely lit by the moon, with a hint of moonbows when I looked specifically for them. WIth the dead calm night, the second burst was nicely spectacular.


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Observations for 28 July 2012


Turns out I was wrong about the next Grand eruption. Thanks to a sub-six hour interval, Grand was able to erupt on what was probably the last Turban before the moon set. The eruption itself was 3 seconds short of 13 minutes, but was perhaps still the best possible one burst Grand eruption.


Dawn Fog #1


Dawn Fog #2


Dawn fog in the Upper Basin

Even with the short intervals, Grand is finding it hard to erupt twice at night. The next eruption window began well before sunrise, and this time featured a 36 minute Turban interval on which Grand started. It not only managed to have two bursts totaling about eleven minutes, but also Vent & Turban continued following the eruption.

With nothing much to do, I decided to check out the time of first overflow. It's been a long time since I paid much attention to it, since in never really changed, but with these short intervals, wondered if that might have some bearing. What I saw was inconclusive.

Where in the past I've assumed a 4-1/2 hour refill, today it took 3h53m. It took only two Turban eruptions for the crater to go from empty. Then it got a bit weird. West Triplet started, so I decided I'd wait until WT ended, and get a possible Rift start. Turban erupted early during that time, so not surprised that Triplet ended without a Rift. But out at Grand, while I didn't see a Turban eruption, I did see a full pool pouring out water and maybe even some waves. At about 4-1/4 hours after the previous eruption. Finally, the pool subsided and Turban erupted at 37m20s, which was even longer that the earlier delay overflow that turned into the eruption.

Only missed a Turban eruption, and was curious to see what would happen next. Grand ended up with a moderately long interval of just less than seven hours, and erupted on the seventh Turban following the heavy overflow. Interesting co-incidence there. None of the preceding Turban eruptions showed anything remotely like they were leading into an eruption, either.

So that meant were were almost certainly going to get another four-Grand day, with three of them in daylight. Or maybe not, as Grand had a delay which pushed the eruption back five Turban eruptions and gave us a nice moonlight eruption instead.

The entertainment preceding the eruption was a paper plate which had blown into the runoff channel below Turban the day before during the storm. This time a strong wind suddenly came up out of nowhere and move the plate closer to Grand. A second gust pushed it right into Grand's pool, where if floated around. Unfortunately, this all occurred after sunset, so after a bit the plate was no longer visible. It did not appear floating down the runoff to New Orleans during the eruption either, so it must out there somewhere. Will have to look for it tomorrow.


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Observations for 27 July 2012


For the morning Grand, it was a short wait for another one burst eruption. For the next eruption Grand made up for the ease of seeing it the last few days.

First, there was a 27 minute Turban interval, the first true Delay I've seen this trip. The next Turban Grand did not act like it wanted to erupt, as the pool wasn't very high, but Vent overflowed. This led to a series of short Turban intervals and durations. This culminated in Grand being full and having waves 13 minutes after Turban, and then erupting at 15m44s. It didn't start cleanly, but had about 5-10 seconds of large boils which in years past could result in "false starts" or "boops". Even when the burst began, it wasn't strong and vigorous,and seemed to almost skip the start and move right on to the 9 minutes of jetting.

All of this took place as a series of storms moved to the east both north and south of us, with considerable lightning down south, but other than a short shower and some strong winds from the north, it all missed us.

This long interval also had the effect of moving Grand's next predicted eruption to a time right after moonset.

A few days ago I took some photos of Bulger's Hole, but never got around to posting them. Since it's not erupting, and not changing, there wasn't any hurry.


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Shoshone Geyser Basin for 26 July 2012


The day was taken up by a trip to Shoshone Geyser Basin. Took lots of video and photos (at least for me) and will post a few photos here in a day or three, once I find some good ones.

Started out before dawn, and ended up arriving at the basin by 08:30. Finally figured out that the creek crossing needed to be done in something other than bare feet, and so had some sandals with me. Worked great, although the water was numbingly cold.

The areas around Little Giant was changed from two years ago. The crack with the pulsating formations had enlarged into a crater about 1x2 meters across, which was bursting water to about a meter whenever I was close enough to see it. Little Giant itself was dead calm , which is not how I ever remember seeing it.

Got to Minute Man just as it was starting to erupt. Wasn't sure what was going on, as Minute Man's Pool was full, and I saw three quick eruptions of Minute Man, then nothing for half an hour. The Pool also dropped below overflow during this time. Then I four more, then another gap. The third series, however, kept on going, and as it turned out, Minute Man was erupting the entire time I was in the basin.

By that time it was time to cross the creek, and while doing so, I did my usual deconstruction of the hot pot dam that the NPS seems to tolerate, or perhaps plans to use as part of excuse to close the area.

Velvet was quite active, and saw a number of eruptions as we spent several hours in the area in the hopes that Hydra might erupt for us. But no such luck there. There were some Knobby minors, and I managed to miss the Bead eruptions, although I did see the first when I was eating breakfast over by Minuteman.

Disappointed that Lion had been turned into a drain for the runoff from the "Old Lion" geyser that broke out nearby. Really liked the way Lion would eject the little horizontal spits of water.

Tried to go up to see Boiling Cauldron, and did manage to pay my respects to it and its runoff channel, but the deer flies were so thick that I didn't want to stay. They'd land all over me, half a dozen at a time whenever you moved to a new location, and you need to move around to appreciate the runoff sluiceway.

Skipped the call for a short Beehive interval, but did go out to see the fourth Grand of the day, right after sunset. Having two consecutive four-Grand days is something I can't remember experiencing before.


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Observations for 25 July 2012


With an eruption of Grand only ten minutes after midnight, it looked like it could easily be a four Grand eruption day. The second eruption of the day occurred just at dawn before 07:00, so that looked to be even more likely. And it was a two burst eruption with calm wind conditions.

After taking a couple hours of napping, I decided that since there was plenty of time before Grand, I should head down to Fan & Mortar and eat lunch and maybe even try to do some computer work. Sitting in the shade on the bridge abutment was the place to be. So shortly after I arrived, just starting to dig food items out of my pack, Fan's Main Vent start splashing.

The event progressed nicely. There were a couple of pauses, and during them it was obvious that the water level in Main was high. We weren't seeing just the occasional spits, but boiling and splashing. I saw at least one burst that put water over the rock divide into East Vent.

Fan's vents quickly went into what seemed to be a lock, and then sat there. It was almost like the lock came too quickly. But eventually we got the huffing from Mortar, and then water appeared in Lower Mortar.


25 July F&M #1


25 July F&M #2


Fan & Mortar eruption

It was a powerful Fan dominated eruption, with several surges out of main putting water into Norris Pool. Unfortunately, the wind was fairly strong and blowing right toward the trail, so the only dry vantage point was at the north end of the walkway. The timing of the eruption also meant that tomorrow is free for a Shoshone trip.

Following the eruption, went to Grand for the third eruption of the day, which came less than an hour after noon. If the intervals so far today had just been a little shorter, we could be looking at a five Grand day, something I've never heard of before.

Later in the afternoon we got Beehive's eruption. The wait during the 20 minute indicator was a crowded on both sided of the river as I've ever seen it. I was on Geyser Hill, and it was impossible to move around the walkway. The crowding on Geyser Hill could be explained by the eruption of Old Faithful only about 15 minutes earlier, and I assume the Visitor Cathedral was responsible for directing gush rush down to the river.

The eruption itself was pretty cooperative, with only a few moments at the start of the eruption where the boardwalk on the Hill got sprayed. Then the wind shifted so that by the end of the eruption, people over Old Faithful's runoff channel were scurrying to new locations.

Clouds began to thicken, and thunder was heard in the distance as the fourth Grand eruption approached, but other than preventing the rainbows in the eruption from appearing, nothing much happened. So in a little over 16 hours, Grand had four eruptions (three of them one burst) and three of those in daylight.


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Observations for 24 July 2012


Heading out to Grand I passed a small herd of louts heading up toward Castle. Interesting time of day to be out for a hike, considering it was mostly overcast, but it was warm. They passed by just after I'd settled into waiting for Rift to end.

That's also when Fan & Mortar decided to have another event. When the announcement of a second pause was made, I was at least fairly confident that I wouldn't have to go down that way, and I turned out to be right.

Like last night, Grand erupted when there was just enough light to see it.Since it was not as cold as normal, and dead calm, it was also possible to easily see the second burst. Although, this business of erupting not in daylight or darkness is going to quickly get tiresome.

So headed back in for more sleep, then played around in the cabin until ran out of things to do. By that time the Grand interval was approaching five hours, so decided to head out and kill time. So paid my respects to Splendid, took a look at Fan & Mortar just to say I'd been there, and then went over to Grand.

As I approached Sawmill, the eruption there stopped, so I watched the pool drain down, when a call that Grand was showing waves came over the radio. Surprised, I turned to see Grand boil up about 1/2 meter. A few seconds later Grand started, resulting in a 5h42m interval. As far as I can remember, if that's not the shortest interval in the last few decades, it's only a minute or two short.

But the weirdness wasn't over. It was a bit steamy, so I wasn't paying close attention to the activity when I suddenly realized that I hadn't seen Vent. I looked at the time, and we were approaching three minutes. Vent's vent was still empty. Getting better views showed no activity, not even any steaming. As the eruption progressed, kept looking for activity, and it wasn't until 8m12s before it suddenly started. Within seconds it seemed it reached full height.

And from then on, it was an ordinary short Grand eruption. Vent & Turban continued, and by twelve minutes later there wasn't any afterplay.

Next up was Beehive, but first we were treated to some exhibitionistic clown walking down the boardwalk from Castle toward Geyser Hill in dry-wall installers stilts. He even posed for his girlfriend by standing on one foot or bouncing in front of one of the slimy holes by Liberty.

The Indicator started within moment of my arrival at the benches south of Depression. The wind was fairly cooperative during the eruption until the last minute, at which point the raincoat and umbrella got used. At least it was just the edge of the spray, so I wasn't totally soaked.

The rest of the day was taken up with a fruitless wait down at Fan & Mortar for a weak early afternoon event. Since I had no idea what was going on at Grand, I got there early again. This time we got a Vent overflow delay (Type 3 ?) along with a West Triplet eruption. The long two burst eruption was followed by a long pause in Vent & Turban activity.

Leaving the area I thought that Sawmill Group looked good for some Penta activity, but didn't stick around. Turns out I was right, as Penta did erupt.

About an hour before time to head out to Grand, the call went out that there was another event starting at Fan & Mortar.Perfect timing, as I'd just gotten a nap but was way to early to head out.This way I could kill some time and maybe even see F&M. There were a few moments where they looked good, but on the whole was another one of those weak events that promised little and delivered.

Grand itself had another short interval for another one burst eruption shortly after midnight. I do expect to see my first four-Grand day in quite a while tomorrow.


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Observations for 23 July 2012


As expected, at dawn the fog was thick. Geyser Hill was a mass with a couple of larger plumes of unknown origin rising from it, origins unknown. At Grand the whole north end of the basin was a solid mass as it began to lighten.

I also arrived to find Rift well into an eruption. Not surprising, and after a day of 6-1/2 hours intervals, I figured it was time for a long. So was caught a bit by surprise when Grand initiated another short, one-burst eruption just short of seven hours. The idea of going out to Grand without the expectation of at least a two to four hour wait just doesn't seem right.

So that afternoon, Grand decided to make up for that. It ignored a West Triplet eruption, which in years past would have been a good time for an eruption. It had multiple "Type 2" Turban delays, where there isn't a long Turban interval, but there are early waves on a flooding Grand pool. The second time it did that, the poll was full and pouring water at the 13 minute mark. But by 17, the attempt was obviously over, and the pool so drained that some of the ridges were dry between them.

The eruption, at least wasn't the usual short one burst, but we actually got a second burst, although it lasted for a bit over two minutes.

There were also a couple of weak Fan & Mortar events, which of course got people all excited, despite it being nearly a day short of the shortest known interval this season. I did bike as far as Castle for the evening one, on the off chance that a four day interval was about to happen.

The long Grand interval had the unfortunate side effect of pushing the next eruption into the dark. But Grand also reverted back to the pattern of yesterday's activity, so it had another 6-1/2 hour interval. It was still visible at the start, enough light to see the base surge and the start of Vent, thanks to it also being dead calm. (Dead calm also meaning that the mosquitoes were out.) I did get to see some moron dipping his feet into the runoff channel to impress his idiot friends, but otherwise there wasn't anything unusual about seeing another one burst eruption.

But what was a little pathetic was that despite the huge herd of geyser groupies in, none of them bothered to be there. This despite there having been a Beehive eruption only 30 minute before. I think the reason is that most of those people don't like Grand. They only go out there because they like socializing at Grand, and when no one else is around (but me) the opportunities for socializing are minimal.


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Observations for 22 July 2012


Nice to see that some things don't change. Early morning was sitting in the parking lot typing up some notes whenI noticed a car on the bike trail, coming down from the Inn. I was a little late in getting to the camera app on my phone to take a better picture.

Headed out to Grand to see what had happened overnight I approached and there was no activity visible. Which meant that probably I was either arriving well after the afterplay had finished, or it really was a 9-1/2 hour interval Turns out the pool was about an hour from filling, so it was definitely a short interval. So headed in for breakfast and to wait several hours.

Headed back out for another short interval, and another one burst eruption. Went downbasin for the first time this trip, and then waited for an Oblong eruption. The thumps were noticeable only because I was trying to hear and feel them, and the eruption probably would have been more impressive from Grand as the breeze, what little there was, pushed the steam toward the walkway. Also, passing by Giant, I noticed that at a couple of gravelly places there was grass starting to grow.

The day had been semi-overcast and a bit humid, so not surprised that the sky suddenly thickened and turned gray as the afternoon Grand window approached. (It was also time to start watching for Beehive's Indicator). Went out to Grand with the expectation of getting wet, and making sure that all the rain gear was in the pack.

Turns out I needed it. The wind picked up and the droplets started about a half hour after I got there, at about the time that Beehive erupted. During the next half hour the wind was strong out of the southeast and the rain kept coming down harder. Then just as it reached a downpour in whichI was expecting hail, Grand erupted. The first burst lasted about ten minutes, and by that time the rain had let up quite a bit, and the wind had died down. So it was possible to see the water of the second burst.

It was still pretty damp when I went out for the next eruption. There was still a bit of glow in the sky, and it was pretty clear, but also quite foggy down basin. Oblong erupted, and I couldn't see much more than the tower of steam it was putting out. But after about an hour, it seemed that much of the fog had dissipated.

Grand itself was another one burst. The only interesting thing about the wait was the the prior Turban interval was well over 23 minutes long, with considerable overflow. There's a good chance there was some attempt at Vent overflowing, and it could easily be considered to have been a one Turban delay.