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Observations for 2019 July 30


Arrived at Norris at 05:30. it was foggy the whole way, as it had rained during the night, and there was still some lightning visible to the north.

An hour and a half later it was still overcast and foggy, and I hadn't yet gotten around to digging something to eat out of the pack. It was at 07:12 that we got a long, strong and sustained minor. That got me to put away things and wrap up the pack in its rain cover. The heavy surging continued, so next it was time to get the chair and pack out of the way.

The activity continued, and based on our experiences of the past year or so, it quickly became obvious that this was what we'd been waiting for. In the next few minutes we got stronger and longer play than all day yesterday (or the day we waited last week, or the three days Memorial Day weekend). Finally there was a surge that kept building and climbing, until it became obvious that each burst was higher than the last.

It quickly became apparent that there wasn't going to be a chance to see much of the water phase. I'd would have liked to try for a height measurement, but after about a minute realized that there was something else I could do. I moved quickly (more of a trot than a run) down the switchback and past Cistern and over to the runoff bridge, with the video recording the whole way.

If any water washed over the bridge, it was brief and didn't leave much dampness. Otherwise the two main runoffs were pretty impressive, more than I'd seen before. (Those times were well into the steam-phase, too.) Coming back I saw the start of water coming down all the runoff channels that run under the switchback walkway.

The water coming from North Vent seemed gray, but not reddish or brown.

Standing on the upper platform, I realized that it would make a lot more sense to get the tripod and the other phone and set it all up to try and record any chokes from before the start, rather than trying to react to what the geyser was doing. Sof went back down to where my pack was, and of course the first choke happened as I was trying to dig everything out. But I did manage to catch the next three, as well as another one on my regular phone. There were a total of eight, and I'd have gotten some more if somehow the phone hadn't gotten into "slo-mo" mode. A rant on how phone camera interfaces are overloaded with useless gimicks and poorly designed for use outside in bright light might be appropriate. (For most people, it appears a button labeled "Selfie! Me!" would suffice.)

Telling when there was going to be a choke seems to depend on noting the activity of the wall of rock north of the North Vent. If there is heavy water landing there and running over the edge creating waterfalls, North Vent will start chugging, and eventually choke. If the wind is shifted, say toward a platform, then the steam coming from North Vent is continuous, and there won't be a choke.

The corridoned off area of the platform only appeared to have one or two small rocks on it that weren't there when we arrived in the morning. (I was tempted yesterday to put a huge rock or two in that area, just to get a reaction...) A small rock did land next to me there, but it someone made it back onto the ground.

By the time we left, at around 10:10, Cistern had dropped below overflow, but because none of the runoff made it into the feature, it was still clear blue.

Out to Grand for the afternoon One Burst Eruption. Arrived to find Rift marker gone and West Triplet down much more than during the past week. An hour later I saw the first eruption of West Triplet I was aware of since 22 July. The only eruption of Sput D I saw was during West Triplet, and it was accompanied by Percolator, another geyser not seen in a week.

Grand itself had to have a two Turban interval delay, followed by a Turban start. The eruption was a little over ten minutes long and Vent & Turban continued. While waiting a dark, ominous storm cell passed north, through the Lower Basin, but was never really a threat here.


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Observations for 2019 July 28


Got out to Grand at the four hour mark since the early morning 5:15 am eruption, and it was already in overflow. An hour later, there was a Turban interval that lasted 38m39s, one of the longer. At around the 30 minute mark, I was considering making a radio call, as the pool looked that good, and it was only 4h55m since the previous eruption.

Two Turban intervals later, there was another good fill, and even a short overflow from Vent. But no eruption. It wasn't until two Turban intervals after that that Grand finally erupted. This was another long One Burst Grand where Vent & Turban quit almost immediately.

What was interesting was the Sput D was erupting with Turban until the Delay. It shared the long interval, and again erupted as Turban was ending, and along with Turban for the next eruptions until the Grand eruption. After Grand it behaved as previously, with a heavy West Triplet overflow that had some weak eruptions from Sput D.

After that it was out to Fountain after the report of the previous eruption duration being about 35 minutes long. We arrived at the seven hour mark to find a high Morning Pool with some nice convecting. For the first time this trip, we had to wait for a solo Fountain eruption, which came over an hour later. With no Morning start, we left the duration for someone else to figure out. (It was about 31 minutes).


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Observations for 2019 July 27


Looks like the Grand Group has settled into a routine. No real change from the last few days, where we have Sput D erupting before and after Grand, but taking a bit of a pause in the middle of the interval. Grand itself has some shorter intervals, but then tosses in a longer one so that it is erupting at the same time of day every day.

But we did get some interesting One Burst Grand eruptions. The first one, in the morning, had Grand lasting 9m33s, followed by 1m45s until it drained. Unusual to wait that long, and Vent & Turban quit almost immediately.

But the afternoon eruption was probably a record setter. I cannot remember a One Burst Grand eruption that lasted longer than about 13m30s, and this one had a duration of 14m21s. For the last few minutes it really did go into Big Sawmill mode, where most of the activity consisted of low surging and boiling punctuated by the occasion sharp, high rocket. When it finally quit, it wasn't all that sudden, it just sort of died down. Turban finished moments before Grand did.


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Observations for 2019 July 26


Another pretty dull day.

Another day where I spent a bit of time out at Grand to see if the newest changes in activity are changing further, or going to stabilize for a while. It appears that it's the latter. Sput D (Delta Geyser?) still seems to erupt at about twenty minute intervals, but otherwise is independent of Turban. Sometimes I was seeing it in the middle of the Turban interval, other times at the end of Turban's eruption.

After Grand West Triplet will flow heavily for about four minutes, without any activity in the sputs. That's the last time it overflows, even as Sput D continues to erupt after Vent and Turban continue.

Other good new of the day were the two Two Burst Grand eruptions. There was also a delayed eruption that was preceeded by about a minute of Grand booping, including one that had to be well over two meters high.

Also got to see two Oblong eruptions from Grand. Didn't notice the first one in the morning until it was underway, but in the afternoon I noticed that the steam was more than a wisp from down there, and over the next minute or so it built in volume until I finally got a small surge. That eruption had at least one burst well above the top of the dead tree.

Also down basin it looked like Grotto had a Marathon eruption. Bijou was quiet most of the day. Watching the Grand Group changes is cutting into opportunities to check on Grotto and Giant.


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Observations for 2019 July 25


Went out to Grand a little early, and almost immediately caught a full range of the new sput activity. Not only was there a nice eruption of Sput D, but the feature back in the rocks, Sput F2 was splashing, while Sputnik was sizzling and Sput A was also bubbling. The only thing missing was that West Triplet was low.

Caught a couple more eruptions of Sput D, and these camein the middle of the Turban eruption intervals. These eruptions were not accompanied by the other sputs. Based on the way the sunlight was hitting the runoff channel and not sparkling, I'm assuming that West Triplet still didn't overflow.

We finally got a Grand eruption after a delay that included well over a minute of Grand having heavy boils and small boops. When it finally started, it took Turban over a minute to start. It turned out to be a two-burst eruption, nicely against the clear sky of a warm morning. Even more interesting was that unlike most two burst eruptions I've seen the last few years, Vent and Turban didn't quit.

Waited around afterwards to see what the sputs and West Triplet would do. Activity was pretty much the same as the day before. There was a strong West Triplet overflow following Grand, with only some small splashing from Sput D. About 15 minutes later, as Vent and Turban quit, there was another bit of activity from Sput D, with West Triplet overflow. After that, there were a few more periods of activity about every 15 minutes.

The first post eruption Turban was almost exactly an hour after Grand's eruption, and wasn't accompanied by Vent. It was about that time that the Sput D/West Triplet activity quit. At the time of the next Turban eruption, West Triplet rose a bit, then dropped, and that was it.

I came out a bit early for the next Grand eruption, and saw Sput D in action without any overflow from West Triplet. But the runoff was wet, so it had done something recently. It appears that Sput D is in sync with Turban, as it was erupting about midway between Turban eruptions. It didn't look like there was any West Triplet overflow these times, but hard to tell as once the NPS eruption window for Grand opened, the benches almost immediately became full.

Grand itself waited just long enough to make in an official Delayed eruption. Afterwards again there was heavy overflow from West Triplet and a short period of Sput D sputtering.

Went out for one final One Burst Grand eruption before midnight. Didn't have to wait a Turban interval, so not sure what happened prior to the eruption, but West Triplet's runoff was dry. After the eruption West Triplet overflowed heavily for about 6 minutes. Only a few times did it look like the upwelling might result in water actually being thrown.


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Observations for 2019 July 24


Since there was no reason to make the trek to Norris, slept in. Out to Grand for a steamy One Burst Eruption.

Then stayed around for a couple of hours to see what would happen next. Just before Grand's eruption Sput D erupted, and West Triplet overflowed. This happened about every twenty minutes until Vent and Turban finally quit. The overflows lasted about four minutes, and the activity from Sput D was at or just before it started, and then about the time it ended. On one of the overflows, Sput A was seen bubbling, along with frying pan activity in Sputnik (Sput B) and a new (or at least a hole I don't remember) bubbling about two meters from Sput D and to the right of A.

When Vent and Turban finally quit, West Triplet came up one last time, but not close to overflow, then dropped down into its tube. I left about 40 minutes after the last overflow.

Returned about an hour and a half later to catch the first overflow. Has been years since I did that, and in previous times it was always about 4h20m except back when Rift had an effect on Grand. Then it could be six to seven hours. Arrived to find West Triplet's runoff dry, which would be a good indication there hadn't been any more overflows since I left.

The activity from the sput seemed to be synchronized with Turban at first, but after about an hour it was out of phase, then it quit entirely. It was next seen right before the time Turban would have erupted if it hadn't been having a Delay. When Turban finally did erupt, it was followed by more activity from Sput D, as well as another eruption after the next Turban. I wasn't in a position at that point to see what West Triplet was doing, but it didn't look like there was any runoff at any of these times.

So we got a One Burst Grand, and afterwards as I was leaving, saw West Triplet have a short, heavy overflow without any activity from the Sputs.


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Observations for 2019 July 23


Spent the day at Norris. Wasn't a total waste.

There was a nice large minor as we arrived at 05:55, then another at about 09:00. Then nothing until 14:00, when they started coming about once an hour or so. We left unimpressed at 18:15.

Got back to the Old Faithful area to learn that Fountain had had an eruption duration over 38 minutes. So it was out to there to see what happened.

For the first time this visit, we had to wait for Fountain. About an hour after arrival, it finally started, to be joined 54 seconds later by Morning.

The eruption lasted well over 28 minutes, for probably the longest duration of this period of activity. While there were only a few tall bursts, there were lots of loud pops and wide explosive bursts. The three bright flashlights allowed us to easily see all the activity. We even attracted a couple of people who were driing by and had to come out to investigate the bright lights. (I noticed the previous night, when we left during Fountain's eruption, that the activity was bright from the parking lot.)

Speaking of the parking lot, we could hear what sounded like powerful steam coming from Clepsydra as we left.


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Observations for 2019 July 22


Went out for the One Burst Grand eruption, but what was interesting was the other activity. Again West Triplet started, and within a few minutes, Sput D started, soon to be joined by Percolator I went down to take a closer look, and found that the filled in area of Sputnik (Sput B) was a bubbling frying pan. Also, higher up behind it in the rocks was another small sput. I don't remember seeing this one in a long time, if ever, and can't remember how I referred to it if I did. Waited for the end of West Triplet, and everything back there quit within a minute or two.

The rest of the day consisted of two trips out to Fountain. The first was late afternoon, and resulted in an eruption lasting 36m01s. That was long enought that felt obligated to come out to the next one. That was just before midnight, and a disappointment. In both cases, we didn't have much of a wait, but the second time we'd literally walked up and it started to erupt. Also, both times, there was a period of heavy boiling from Morning's Thief, but no real eruption. We left the midnight eruption before it ended.


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Observations for 2019 July 21


A dawn drive to Fountain resulted in getting as far as Silex before we were informed that it had erupted and quit already. Not observed, so it could've been over an hour earlier.

So it was back to the cabin and then out to see another One Burst Grand weruption, backlit by the rising sun.

From there it was down basin for the first time this trip. I passed by Solstice, still in eruption. Grotto was active, and I saw some splashing from South Grotto Fountain.

Waited through the better part of a cycle at Fan & Mortar. It was well defined. For example, when the vents shut down, they stayed off. None of that blipping from Angle Vent that never seems to stop. Bottom Vent started splashing heavily, and Lower Mortar was so full the water level could be seen at about the time a new cycle start was expected. When High and Gold did start,they were powerful. But during the quiet time, and during the Bottom splashing I saw nothing from Main Vent. It was cool, and there was very little steam.

By then it was time for Daisy, and to take a look at Splendid. The latter didn't look any different from the way it did back in May. A few minutes after the refill start there was boiling from Main Vent which ususally shifted to Side Boiler. The first few boils were about a meter high.

As I left, I check on Grotto, and it had quit while I was up at Daisy.

By the time I returned to the cabin, Beehive had still not erupted. The Indicator was behaving the same way as yesterday according to radio reports. When it finally came up, I almost didn't have time to get over there from the cabin. I left as it started, and was passing the Observation Point junction when Beehive started. Fortunately, the wind was blowing the spray parallel to the walkway, so no one got wet. I also noticed when I got close that the Close-to-Cone Indicator was bubble as the main Indicator was quitting. It continued during the rest of Beehive's eruption.

Went out to Grand a bit early to try to beat the crowds, so of course it not only has a delay, but take three Turban intervals to finally erupt. But I did get to see the activity I saw the other night in the daylight.

It started almost immediately after West Triplet started. I will have to check my old maps, but I think it is actually what I called "Sput D". It was to the left of Sputnik. Sput A was a small hole in the flat runoff channel area, and this is farther back. Percolator also started with West Triplet, and both stopped when West Triplet ended shortly after the One Burst Grand eruption.

Made another trip out to see what Morning might do. There was boiling at the back, but nothing came of it when Fountain started. There were also two periods of heavy boils from Morning's Thief, but again, that was all that happened. The eruption itself was shorter than the previous, only 32m10s this time.