It may have been really stupid, but it was worth it.
So the evening Grand had to be a long interval in the cold and snow, one I should have bailed out on. But it finally did just about the time the sun set somewhere behind all the gray. With the exact time of Grotto shutting down not known, only the report of it off at 17:40, I was estimating that the window would be opening around 23:00, and I wanted to be there. So after Grand finally got around to its one burst eruption, I headed in and quickly dressed in just about anything I've got to keep me warm and dry.
It turns out I had plenty of time. Spent the next 4+ hours waiting for nothing to happen. At least it was calm and only occasional snow sprinkles to keep things damp. It was only towards the end, when it was time for the next Grand, that I considered bailing out. And even then, I've said I want to see a start from Grand.
The hot period finally started at 03:23. I'd call it "ns", because, magically, Feather was suddenly erupting to full height. In the dark, you realize that hot periods are really pretty quiet, and not all that steamy, either. But this time Mastiff almost immediately began surging in the 5 foot range. Over the course of the next few minutes, it would surge up and then die down, with each iteration a bit stronger than before. With the help of our strong lights (I think my MagLite's battery needs replacement), and the slight breeze from the north, it was easy to see what was going on on the platform most of the time.
By 03:31, Mastiff was in eruption, continuously throwing water higher than Giant's cone. This continued to build and quite suddenly it was noisily throwing water to about 50 feet. Visibility was finally deteriorating because were also getting some good strong action from Catfish. (And maybe Bijou, It was getting hard to see, and too much going on.) All the while, Giant was completely dead. At the time, it seemed like much, much longer, but just 2m30s later Giant finally surged a couple of times and then took off, and up.
Not much to say about the start of the eruption, other than shining our lights straight up we could see the entire water column. At the same time, Catfish went into a powerful steam phase, becoming the loudest performer on the platform for the next several minutes.
My digital kitchen thermometer said that the air temperature at that time was 37°, which was much warmer than I expected, since that was the temperature when I was out at Grand.
After about a half hour, I'd had enough. I'd been a long night, and besides, I wanted to see what a nighttime Giant steamcloud looked like from other parts of the basin. From Grand, there's no mistaking it for a measly Grotto or Oblong, and even at Crested Pool I thought I could hear Giant.
And this makes the third Thursday eruption in a row. I sense a guru geyser gazing pattern developing.