After last night’s short wait, the hope was to have another one. So arrived in the dark. There’s been a shower earlier, based on the wet areas in the cabin area, but it was also relatively warm for the time of day. Got out to the Grand area to find West Triplet in eruption. Which was followed by an eruption of Rift which lasted about 40 minutes. During this time, the clouds built up, and as dawn started, we got some quick showers.
The Turban durations were all pretty short, as were the intervals. But there was no real pattern to what was going on that I could see. As the wait progressed, the showers turned into pretty steady rain, the wind picked up, and seemed to get a lot colder. Finally, after over nine hours Grand couldn’t hold off any more. Fortunately, the rain had stopped by then, and while it was way too steamy, the wind from the north helped make some of the one burst eruption visible.
About a Turban interval before Grand’s eruption I did see a couple of elk wandering past Churn. That was about the time that there came an announcement of activity in Fan’s Main Vent. There hadn’t been anything from those geysers since yesterday afternoon, so this could be promising. So headed down that way for what never really developed into anything of interest.
Later that morning the weather turned nasty. First there was a hailstorm followed by heavy rain. But all that let up, so that when the second announcement of event activity at Fan & Mortar was made, it was possible to ride the bike down the basin without getting wet.
But as soon as I arrived, that changed. The rain started, and never let up, getting really heavy at times. During this, the activity from Fan’s vents slowly progressed towards an eruption. Over at Mortar, the activity of Lower and Bottom Mortar fluctuated between the latter pouring out water to being quiet. There was also steaming in the frying pans. It seemed like it was going to be hard to see the eruption, but the wind helped here again. When it became obvious that we could really get an eruption, I headed from the front of the geysers to well north of Spiteful. From there there was an excellent view of the activity, as well as the start of the eruption.
Because of the wind, it seems that Fan never really drenched the walkway, but it was still powerful and high. Saw several rocks thrown from the Main Vent, while the activity from East Vent came and went. I don’t remember that much variability in it’s activity in previous years.
The Fan & Mortar eruption came just as the Grand eruption window opened. Once the second period of activity wained, I decided to head in that direction. Biking in a driving rain was getting me soaked, and everything was steaming. Almost immediately I noticed too much steam in the Grand area. Thought I saw Vent in action, but hard to tell. Then, behind Oblong, I saw a nice spike from Grand itself.
And that was the total of what I saw of that eruption. By the time I got to the Castle bike rack, things there had quieted down, so I just kept on getting wet and heading back to the cabin.
As the time for the next Grand eruption approached, the rains restarted. First it was hail, then a heavy rain. I was able to get most of the animated radar map for the previous hour, and it showed that we were on the southern edge of a cell system that extended to the west into central Idaho. If the system were a few miles farther to the north, we’d probably not get any rain at all. So I prepared to get cold and wet. I figured the odds were that I wouldn’t have a long wait, and this way I could easily skip the middle of the night eruption, especially if it was also raining then.
Headed out while it was light. Got to Grand where Rift was erupting. Only had to wait ten minutes for a one burst eruption which was actually visible in the gray and dimming light. By the time the eruption ended, it was dark enough I needed light to unlock the bike. Of course it was the trip out and back where I got wet. Waiting was no problem at all.