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Observations for 26 May 2014

It is nice to walk up near the end of a Turban eruption, and have Grand erupt on the next opportunity. Not enough time to get cold. Especially this night, as there was a steady breeze making it feel even colder than it was.

The morning eruption had near perfect conditions. It was dead calm with the low sun nicely backlighting the eruption. Like the one in the night, it was another one burst eruption.

For this visit, I saw nine eruptions of Grand, and seven of them were one burst. In several cases, it seemed like Grand was trying to quit around the nine to ten minute mark, only to resume activity with one of its quick jets. The good news was that for all the waits, Grand followed the same pattern-- the overflows, Turban duration and intervals were quite ordinary for several eruptions. Then there would be something different happening, usually a short but vigorous Turban duration. Then at the end of the second interval following, Grand would erupt.

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Observations for 25 May 2014

At 02:00 it was mostly clear, and not all that cold, so there wasn't much of an excuse to not go back out to Grand. The two hour wait wasn't too bad, but as the night went on, it was obvious that it was getting hazy and there was probably going to be a morning geyser fog. By 04:00 the sky was already starting to brighten.

As during the previous night's eruption, Grand was well illuminated. Some people appeared at the start of the eruption, but despite the illumination, didn't stick around to see yet another one burst eruption.

The morning alarm went off and I was getting ready to for the day when the call for Beehive's Indicator was made. Walked on over and was able to enjoy a windless eruption featuring a pair of full rainbows. Then it was time for breakfast and another wait for Grand.

Grand followed the same patterns as before, even giving us another one burst eruption. West Triplet started after the end of Grand's eruption, but it wasn't followed by Rift.

Since it had been about four hours since the last Aurum report, decided that should try there again. This time we were finally rewarded with an interval just under five hours. So not sure what was going on the previous day. But at least I did get to see both a Penta and an Aurum this year.

The evening eruption of Grand followed earlier patterns, in that after a couple of nondescript eruptions, we got one that looked different, and after one more Turban eruption, we got the Grand eruption. This time, however, we also got a one burst eruption that lasted less than 10 minutes. Also of interest was that West Triplet started well before Grand, and that led to a Rift eruption immediately after Grand.

So far the weather this weekend has been exceptional. Even the rainstorm we experienced Saturday evening made it all feel like it was more like July than late May. In previous years I've been snowed on this weekend (like the case of 1988). The biggest difference from July is that the air temperature is lower, which becomes obvious when you are in the shade or when a cloud passes overhead or when the breeze picks up.

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Observations for 24 May 2014

Went out for the dawn eruption. From Sawmill I saw the start of a one burst eruption that lasted a little over 10 minutes. Did get to see West Triplet start. It was a beautiful morning, so instead of heading back in for more sleep, went down basin to look around. Daisy was right in the middle of an interval, and Grotto was supposedly recovering from a marathon eruption the day before. At Fan & Mortar, things looked pretty dull, too.

After some rest and breakfast at the Snowlodge buffet, headed back out to Grand. As the night before, it was a series of nondescript Turban intervals which finally ended when Turban had a short eruption duration. But this time the pool refilled nicely and quickly, and so Grand erupted on the next Turban opportunity. I also got to see my second (and probably last) two burst eruption of the trip.

After Grand, observed a water column much higher than the trees erupting to the right from Grotto. It was Grotto Fountain, post-marathon, and this had to be one of the more impressive eruptions I've seen in the last few years. It also seemed to maintain that height for quite a while and even after Grotto finally started.

Then it was off to Aurum, where the previous eruption had been about four hours earlier. When the wind was right, the nearby carcasses added a certain aroma to the wait. Spent better part of an hour waiting when heard the announcement that Beehive's Indicator was starting. Expected that our leaving the area would be enough to finally trigger an Aurum eruption, but never saw it during the Beehive wait.

At Beehive itself the wind cooperated enough that I was able to stand right at the end of the spray and not have to move. I could look up and see water droplets descending for a couple of seconds and then miss me by a few feet. Afterwards, it was back to Aurum, which obviously had not erupted while everyone was a Beehive.

I waited there for about 15 minutes until I heard an announcement that Penta was in eruption. Decided that even though I had invested quite a bit of time in Aurum, it was also obvious that it was not on the regular 4 to 5 hour interval that seemed to characterize many recent early seasons. Even though I didn't know when Penta had started, this might be my only chance to see it this year. So I left and then spent over half an hour enjoying Penta from several angles. It turned out to be one of those interminable eruptions, as I was told it was still going by other who abandoned Aurum after I'd already left Penta.

As the afternoon and evening progressed, the sky became increasingly cloudy and threatening. By the time to head back to Grand came around, there was a large thunderstorm off to the Northwest. The thunder from all the lightning was nearly continuous at times, but far enough away that it didn't appear too threatening. As we waited for Grand, we could see another such storm building behind it, but again not headed for us.

Turban followed the pattern it had shown during previous waits, so by the time it finally had the different eruption duration and fill behaviors, we had donned our rain gear and were ready for the worst. Fortunately, we didn't get wet. It wasn't until safely back in the Lodge cabin area that the sky opened up and it poured. Since I wasn't out in it, I didn't much care, although the huge puddles a bit later did make navigating to the bathroom a challenge.

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Observations for 23 May 2014

One advantage to learning that Grand has erupted while you were driving between Idaho Falls and Rexsburg is that you know there is no need to rush to get to the Upper Basin. And once you get there, you don't need to run out into the basin and end up waiting for hours. Instead you can check right in, have a little something to eat and otherwise kill some time.

So finally went out to Grand as the last light was fading. I normally don't use a flashlight while walking, but this time I should have, as we encountered a bison just beyond the lift station. That startled not only it, but two others, who ran across our path off into the flat area next to the road. Time to dig out the MagLite.

Arrived at the Grand Group right after West Triplet had ended. No Rift fortunately. The next few Turban intervals were dull and uninteresting, but then we got a short Turban duration followed by a short interval. I was pleased to see that the patterns of previous years could still hold, as Grand erupted on second Turban eruption after that.

Because there was no moonlight, that provided an excuse for a couple of bright lights to be shown on Grand's eruption. My MagLite may have been the brightest light around 30 years ago, but it was no match for these torches. We could easily see every spike. Grand even cooperated and gave us a second burst.