[Geysers] Trip report Norris Oct 7 2011

Stephen Eide stepheneide at cableone.net
Sat Oct 22 12:51:54 PDT 2011

Hello one last time,

Here is my (late) trip report for Norris on October 7, 2011.  I was camping
at Madison and there was a big snowstorm on Oct 6 so when I got up in the
morning the road to Old Faithful was closed at the Madison junction.
Unknown to me, the west entrance was also closed so I was maybe the only
non-employee on the road which was in great shape.  The previous night they
plowed those roads dry.  Anyway, I had Norris all to myself for the whole
short trip.

Steamvalve spring looked to be lukewarm and over a foot below overflow.
Harding Geyser only gave off weak steam also.  The new feature that caused
the boardwalk to be moved above Ledge Geyser was quiet but there is a new
hole a foot or two to the west and uphill that was steaming and you could
hear some bubbling in it.  Congress Pool was down several feet with little
activity.  Most of the area from Blue Geyser to the bottom of the slope
below the walkway was covered with opalescent water.  Lots of water.  But
the only activity in this area were a few steam vents.  I did see a geyser I
don't know the name of erupting from a ledge that sits just below the crest
of the hill to the East of the Porcelain Basin.  It erupted twice a few
minutes apart to a height of 15-20 feet.  It was new to me.  I only waited a
few minutes in the Arsenic-Constant-Whirligig area so I didn't see anything
erupt. I know Pinwheel has not erupted for a long time but usually when I
look at it the vent is still hot and clear of bacteria mat, however this
time when I visited the vent for Pinwheel was cooler and had a mat in it.
Ledge was steaming and the big steamer to the east of Ledge (Dark Cavern?
Valentine? I must admit I am not sure) was roaring away.

Forgotten Fumarole was quiet.  The feature out on the flat between Minute
Geyser and Monarch appears to be growing a bigger or maybe taller cone.  OK,
just a few inches, but I do think it is getting taller.  Fearless Geyser was
quiet and not bubbling.  Palpitator Spring was empty, no water in it at
all.  Monarch was quiet with no signs of any recent activity.  Rubble Geyser
showed no sign of recent activity either.  Corporal looked like it was at
least occasionally overflowing but I didn't watch it long.  Dog's Leg was
quiet.  Veteran was only doing some 3-4 foot splashing and the near basin
was empty.

Vixen was gurgling but had no wet ground around it so I guessed it was not
erupting and I did not stay long (but I am not sure it was not erupting).
Pearl was occasional "bumping" but only twice did I see a very weak splash
out of it.  It is overflowing.  The perpetual spouters across the boardwalk
from Pearl (?Creamsicle Springs?) were active perpetually to 1-2 feet.
Porkchop was opalescent and quiet with regular overflow.  Nothing was seen
from little spring on the North side of Porkchop.  There appears to be a new
vent or reactived vent to the west of Pearl and South of Vixen about 30-40
feet east of the boardwalk.  It has a rim of ejected sand/sinter that is the
same creamsicle color as the springs south of Pearl.  Some splashing a few
inches to a foot above the ground was seen but I could not tell how far down
in the hole the water level was.  It appeared to be a perpetual splasher
when I watched it.

In the area from Orbicular geyser south to the new elevated boardwalk I
saw every vent out there erupt in the five minutes or so I watched except
Orbicular.  Son of Green Dragon is now weaker, with most of the perpetual
bursting to only 2-4 feet however it still will have occasional bursts in
the 6-12 foot range.  This spring it was all in the 6-12 foot range.  Yellow
Funnel was a boiling active mudpot.  Blue Mud spring was the only active
thing in the muddy sneaker group that I saw and it was not that strong.  I
did get a great view back into Green Dragon Spring,due to a favorable wind
and I think less steam.

Nothing of note was happening from Green Dragon to Echinus.  Echinus is
still in constant overflow with terraces getting bigger in the run off
channel.  Of some note, only the vent to the north on the side below the
raised platforms was bubbling in Echinus.  The South vent closest to the
runoff channels was quiet.  I have no idea if this is good or bad, but I do
seem to remember that when Echinus erupts it is the north vent it erupts
from.  Echinus is all brick red.  The sizzling patch to the north of Echinus
is also brick red.

Cistern Spring appeared unchanged to me.  There is a new Boardwalk from
Cistern Spring winding up the hill to the lower platform by Steamboat and
then on up the hill to the West of Steamboat to meet the trail from
Steamboat to Emerald Spring at about the half-way point.  It appears it is
all handicap accessible and avoids the Steamboat stairs.  The planks for the
walkway all appeared to be down but most of the handrail was not up yet.  No
idea what the ETA for opening is.

Steamboat had mostly south function splashing and I did not stay around
long.  I think there is a new steam vent below the lower platform, at least
I did not remember it from my spring and summer visits.  Then again, I could
have missed it, it isn't impressive.  Emerald Spring was clear and looked
like usual.

Also, the bathrooms in the parking lot (the heated ones with running water)
at Norris were open and working.  They had Non-Potable water but everything
else worked.  I don't remember them being open in the last decade, maybe I
just missed when they opened up because I usually do not even try to use

Here's hoping for good weather for closing week,

Stephen Eide
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