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Observations for 2018 August 30

As I commented yesterday, the sameness of the hot periods continued. Went out in the dark and at a little over 7 hours got another in what would be a series of increasingly disappointing hot periods.

They were coming more frequently, with the one before midnight having an interval of about 5-3/4 hours. The surging in Mastiff seemed similar, but it was when Feather quit that things worsened most. Giant was showing less surging each time, and the pause before the restart was getting longer and then the restart itself was getting shorter. Not sure what it all means, but it's becoming disappointing.

The weather was much improved. Which the first hot period in the morning was in the freezing dark, for the daylight ones it was bright and sunny and almost hot. Except when there were clouds, and then the cool air temperature became obvious. The wait for the one before midnight was actually more pleasant because there was a layer of clouds obscuring the rising half moon.

Because my priority has been to wait for Giant, I've not seen many One Burst Grand eruptions this trip. And lately the intervals between the two have been about the same. So the nice thing about the day was that they were so out of phase that I finally got to see a couple. One of them was even a two burst eruption.

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Observations for 2018 August 29

After last night, I decided that six hours was the magic interval. The temperature was well below freezing (the weather site said 29°F, but because it was a dry night, there wasn't much frost. I arrived at the cage at 04:30, and I timed it pretty well. At 05:04 there was a fairly strong hot period, with feather restarting, but again, not much surging in Giant. It was just starting to get light, but I could still go back in and get a couple more hours sleep.

Four hours seemed a good bet for the next opportunity, so was out there well in advance. Bijou was having short pauses about a minute long every 20 minutes or so. Nothing changed when Grotto started, but within seconds of the start of Rocket, Bijou paused and within a minute water was visible in Mastiff. This was another one of those weaker hot periods, where we got Feather's Satellite, but no overflow or surging in Mastiff.

The hot period was quite strong, until it was time for Giant to start surging. Despite what appeared to be a high water level, it never seemed to try to start erupting. It was amusing after the hot period was over because there were several vertical surges that were probably higher than anything during the hot period.

After the hot period, about 70 minutes later, activity from the Southwest vents was observed. Don't know if this was unusual, or normal. No one really hangs around Giant for several hours after a hot period, so this might be normal. In any case, I waited around a bit, and about an hour later there was a normal 1m39s Bijou pause. About the same time interval after that was a report of water in Mastiff. So not sure what was going on there.

Did get a real strong hotperiod about when expected, at 23:04 for a little under 7 hour interval. It looked like the last few hot periods, and we are starting to get a sameness to all of them. The most telling part is how Giant just does not seem to do any strong surging, and what surges it does have are later, after a lot of wasted effort.

The last couple of nights I've heard an owl off in the trees across the river from the cabins. I've heard another one over north of Castle on occasion, too.

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Observations for 2018 August 28

This day started overcast, foggy, cold, and damp. But it was still more pleasant than the previous day.

Got to the cage in time for another Southwest Vents Bathtub. But I never did see the water level in Mastiff, I only inferred it from the fact that I couldn't hear Bijou and the vents were erupting. It was that foggy.

Then, like the previous day, it was a four hour wait for the hot period. This one was even weaker than before. Feather really tried hard to not restart, but eventually it did. During that Giant made a few half-hearted attempts at surging, but never anything to get excited about.

By that time, the day had warmed up to would be nice in October. Later in the afternoon there was time to catch a One Burst Grand, from where I saw a long Bijou pause. So it wasn't surprising that when I was in the cage an hour later, there was a minor, Feather-only hot period.

I had to figure out when to head out during the night. I decided that the second Grotto eruption would be the best time, and set my alarm for 01:00 in order to be out there in plenty of time. So had just turned out the lights in the cabin when we heard Tara start announcing a hot period. Lost that bet, but kinda glad since I would've been sitting in the cold and dark for several hours when nothing would be happening.

The hot period, despite the sort interval, turned out to be pretty strong. We got there just as the surging in Giant started. Unfortunately, the surging wasn't very strong. On the way back, Castle was in eruption, to did stick around to enjoy the moonlight illumination until the steam phase started.

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Observations for 2018 August 27

The day was cold and miserable, with occasional clearing up so that it was only unpleasant.

About a half hour after arriving in the cage there was a Mastiff bathtub with Southwest vent activity. After the usual hour long activity, Bijou started having short (45s-1m20s) pauses every 12 to 14 minutes or so. This continued for the next four hours, with a single longer pause (2m08s) about halfways through.

We finally got our strong hot period, probably the first since the previous day, at 13:18. This wasn't as strong as the previous, and featured a restart that didn't have much in the way of Giant surging. Never thought that it would result in an eruption.

The rest of the day was devoted to indoor activities knowing that there wouldn't be any geyser-related interruptions, like preparing a decent meal. Didn't try for the evening Grand eruption because it was pouring rain about then.

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Observations for 2018 August 26

Day started out poorly with rain and a call that Fan & Mortar were erupting.

The rain quit within an hour, but that meant the wind was picking up. And ended up being worse that the last few days. At times, on the bike trail, it was like going uphill even when it was actually downhill.

Got out to Giant just as a Feather-only hot period started. So it looked like there was no reason to be out in the basin for several hours. A good time to fix breakfast and get some other defered tasks done. I planned to get back in about 5 hours or so, based on previous hot period intervals.

As it turned out, that was a bit optimistic. Someone saw another weak hot period about 3-1/2 hours later. (And not only never made a radio announcement, but logged it in a way as to obscure that fact.)

So instead of heading back to the platform, went to Grand instead. RIght after sitting down in the usual area, I saw a badger approaching the boardwalk from the west. It got nearer, then suddenly changed direction and headed south, toward Bulger. Eventually it crossed the boardwalks near Bulger, where there weren't people, and headed off into the trees behind Rift. That was the first badger I've ever seen there.

Also while waiting for Grand, someone lost a dollar bill to the wind and it ended up in the runoff channel. It went unclaimed when it was finally rescued during the eruption.

The One Burst Grand eruption lasted 13m14s, following false pause at around the 11 minute mark. Afterwards, I finally got to see Old Tardy in eruption. It looks like it's trying to make a new runoff east of the walkway, killing some grass. Probably the buildup from the slime due to Crystal being in near constant overflow allows this.

Back at Giant where we spend three hours in the wind, with Bijou stopping from 45 to 65 seconds every 11 to 13 minutes. It really did seem like it was waiting for the next Grotto eruption.

Finally about 6 hours after the previous Grotto, we got a pause that lasted longer. Almost immediately water was visible in Mastiff. Feather came on about 3 minutes into the pause, which was much quicker that all the weak hot periods I've seen the past few days. A minute and a half later, Mastiff started to overflow, and Cave began erupting.

This was a strong hot period, one in which Giant could've erupted. Feather never quit. Mastiff was boiling up to 1.5 meters at times. The water level in Giant was high, and there were several surges higher than the cone, pouring out water. But when that surging continued without an eruption, it became obvious that we weren't going to get an eruption. Feather itself finally died out about 16 minutes after it started.

After that, it was time for Grand again. It was a long interval, finally erupting in the dark. This was due to a Turban interval where Grand booped about a meter high and delayed the eruption for two Turban intervals.

Just before the Grand boop, I looked down basin and saw a huge amount of steam at Oblong. This increased and the we saw water surging. With the wind and cold, it was hard to tell if that was really the start, but in any case, I did manage to see several large surges, and the whole eruption lasted several minutes. Earlier this summer there have been eruptions of Oblong after Giant, so this was acting like the strong hot period we'd seen 3-1/2 hours earlier was an eruption. Or else Oblong wants to become Giant's indicator.

There's a cold storm coming in during the night, so made no plans to go out and try to catch the next hot period. Expect that will probably be the one that leads to an eruption. On the other hand, earlier this season it's been about 16 to 20 hours between strong ones, so maybe will get to see Giant in the rain tomorrow mid-day.

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Observations for 2018 August 25

Went out to put the full moon to good use, and shortly after midnight got another One Burst Grand, with Rift erupting, after a 30 minute delay.

The rest of the day was spent watching disappointing activity at Giant. Got out to the cage after seeing the morning Beehive, and it appeared that nothing much had happened overnight. At best, there may have been another Feather-only hot period about the time we were out at Grand. After several bathtub pauses from Bijou, finally got a Feather plus Feather Satellite hot period at 14:30.

Then it was bathtubs every few hours. Finally gave up at midnight after the second pause that lasted over 6 minutes.

Another cool, windy day, which can be quite tiring even though not doing much.

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Observations for 2018 August 24

It's early, but I want to keep an eye on Giant in case it shortens up. But first I went down to take a look at the damage around the Riverside trail. They've torn up the old asphalt and are carting it away. I assume it will be replaced by a new and improved boardwalk which will keep people (especially the "Asian Invasion") on trail, or at least not provide excuses for wandering around loose.

At Fan & Mortar, I would have gotten excited if it were not just a day and a half since the last eruption. Fan was completely quiet, except for frequent splashing from Main Vent. Not just little spits, but thick, miniaturized versions of what people like to see at New Crater/Steamboat. And Bottom Vent was erupting enough to put out a little trickle down its runoff. I left, knowing better.

Spent several hours at Giant, interrupted by a nice One Burst Grand. Finally left Giant when I got a Feather-only hot period. Since it was less than three days since the eruption, would be nice to think that this is an indication of a short interval...

The evening was another One Burst Grand eruption, followed by another Feather-only hot period, about six hours after the previous hot period.

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Observations for 2018 August 23

It was like we never left.

Two hours after checking in, we had the same cabin set up the same way as when we were here last. As just like when we left, the three major geysers had all just erupted.

But this time there was a bonus-- an eruption of Morning. So after a quick meal, we headed out to Fountain Paintpots for a wait. Finally got an eruption of Fountain in the dark that got illuminated by a couple of spotlights.

One of the reasons we returned now is so we can take advantage of the full moon. Did just that by heading out to Grand. Got a bonus as Castle was going into steamphase as we arrived, and that's one of the better times for moonbows. They were there, but a bit faint as the moon was low and a bit yellowish from the smoke haze.