A couple of inches of snow starting last night, so the roads were slick where all that got packed down. But mostly sloppy, and no problem getting to Norris. Little to no traffic, and besides, I haven't driven much in winter conditions the last few years, so the practice was good to have.
Not much different there from last visit. In the two hours there, it did seem like there was noticeably more water coming down from South Vent (and not just from snowmelt), but North still seemed to be dominating the play. Emerald finally looks more green than blue, too.
On the way back, heard over the NPS radio that there had just been a non-fatal encounter between a vehicle and an elk. Both the elk and the car were still mobile, but then a wolf appeared, interested in an easy dinner. Fortunately, there had been a ranger at Fountain Paint Pots dealing with a drone pilot, so by the time we got there traffic was being moved along. But after we got back to our cabin, things there got worse. Seems a grizzly decided to join in on the fun, so traffic was (and for good reason) not wanting to move. It wasn't until early evening before Bear Management was on scene and did something to move the elk away from the road (at one point "about 10 feet from fog line"). I would expect it will be eaten tonight when no one is around to disturb the preditors.
Update: Here's a link to a video of the incident. I hadn't heard on the radio that the elk was being chased, which explains what happened.
(I will eventually do a posting with a summary of some of the more interesting radio traffic during this trip.)
Mid afternoon was when I finally got over to check out the Sawmill Group. All the features were up high, but no bubbling visible in Tardy, and Spasmodic was mostly quiet while overflowing.
Down at Fan & Mortar, watched over an hour of Garbage Mode-- Fan vents turning on and off, with no activity from Main or Mortar.
By then it was time for Grand. A walk through the Sawmill Group showed everything well below the highwater or overflow levels.
A Turban eruption interval after arriving got us a Delay. At around the 22 minute mark, Grand looked good with small waves. It mostly stayed that way for the next 14 minutes, when it finally dropped and we got Turban erupting for an interval of 36m48s.
But for the next interval, Grand rose quickly, and started overflowing around the 16 minute mark. A couple of minutes later, with water pouring out of the vent, Turban started abruptly, and 40 seconds later Grand joined in. The burst lasted 9m10s, and despite the steamy conditions, it was easy to see the pool still had water and was filling.
The second burst went into Big Sawmill mode fairly quickly, so it was no surpise when it just kept on erupting. There was even a false pause lasting a second or two. Two and a half minutes later, I had to wait a few seconds to confirm that the eruption was actually over.
Also of note is that earlier this week the NPS removed all the old benches near the trees at Castle. There are new benches, but they are still in a pile near the old road alternate trail junction, with their packing material in place. I guess they'll stay that way for a couple more days.