[Geysers] Miscellaneous

Lynn Stephens lstephens2006 at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 3 11:36:16 PDT 2013

I've been in and out of the Park several times this summer.  Most of the trips have either included Montana grandchildren and/or been camping at Madison Campground without electrical or internet access, so I haven't filed reports.  I'm home for 36 hours before heading off on another camping trip, this time with Seattle grandchildren, and won't be back in Yellowstone until either August 15 or 16 through August 26, when once again I'll have Montana grandchildren and we'll be camping at Madison, so gazing time will be structured around their needs and I won't have internet access.  I'll make one more trip to the park, August 28-September 12, without grandchildren, but will once again be camped at Madison, so won't be writing any reports.
I haven't had time to go through my logbook to put times into geysertimes, but here are a few items.  Since I've been spending almost all my time watching eruptions of Fountain, hoping for Morning (and have been fairly successful this year), I don't have much that others have not already reported.  
On July 31 I got a closed interval on a Till major--9hr56m.  On August 1 I got a double interval of 20h19m.  
On July 31 I recorded three consecutive eruptions of Flood--all three had durations of almost exactly 7 minutes and the intervals were both 41 minutes.  I did not see any splashing, minor eruptions, or "intermediate" seruptions between the major eruptions.
I saw two eruptions of Labial on July 30, 10h52m apart.  I don't know whether this was a double or a closed interval.  I did sit at Labial one time earlier this year, hoping to close an interval, but left at the 10hour mark so I wouldn't miss a Morning window, so it could be doing long intervals but I can't be certain.
I've got quite a few intervals for Box Spring, which has been quite regular with intervals in the mid-20 minute range.
Bead is Bead--intervals 28 to 34 minutes, sometimes regular for several eruptions, sometimes jumping around from one interval to the next.
I've seen several eruptions of Pink, but at most one intervals.  Durations are variable--from 2 1/2 to 10 1/2 minutes.
At various times as I've passed by I've noted Lemon Spring was below overflow indicating it had had some type of eruptive activity.
Dave Leeking gave me some times for Atomizer minors that occurred on July 25, with the major at least 15 hours after the first minor recorded.  (Atomizer was post major 3 1/2 hours after the last minor he noted.)  In the past it has taken 8-10 hours after the major before the first minor occurs, so it may have had a major to major interval in excess of 24 hours, well above the 22 hour major to major interval I recorded last year, which was the longest known major to major interval.  
Dave also indicated he thought Lone Pine might be having intervals around 36 hours or so.
My leaving present this trip was the 8/2 trifecta.  Some people who got to see their first eruption of Morning--Ben Hoppe and his friend Matt, Jim Lasseter, and Cheri and Terry from Colorado.  A visitor named Dominic had heard us talking about Fountain and Morning windows while we were waiting at Great Fountain earlier that Morning.  He stayed at Great Fountain for awhile after we left, but made it over to Fountain before the Trifecta started.  He indicated he could understand why we had been so anxious not to miss it after he saw the trifecta and the excitement it generated amongst the gazers.  Other people who got to see their first trifecta included MaryBeth Schwarz, Jim Scheir, Kitt Barger, Polly Panos, Scott Grisso, Dean Lorenz, Byran Taylor, Rocco Paperiello and Barbara Lasseter.  There were plenty of similarities between the two trifectas I've seen, but viewing conditions were a little better with this one.  Morning started before Morning's Thief.  Morning's Thief was bubbling after Fountain started, but didn't gather enough energy to actually burst until after Morning started bursting.  (Thank you to Ben Hoppe who had the view of Morning's Thief; Scott Grisso and I were over by Clepsydra to get a few if Morning started and the steam direction at that time prevented us from seeing Morning's Thief.)  There were occasional rainbows in Fountain.  Both Morning and Morning's Thief were throwing blue bubbles.  Morning was throwing rocks.  One small rock went at least 100 feet into the air.  Morning's pool was blue.  The spacing between Morning's bursts was often many seconds.  Morning seemed the most lacsadaisical of the three geysers, but would often reward us with a large burst after a long pause between bursts.  Fountain seems to be at its most energetic during the duals or trifectas.  I pushed my "drop dead" leave time so I could see the entire eruption of Morning and Morning's Thief, and give a long line of gazers a going away hug so couldn't wait for the end of Fountain. Coincidentally, Maureen Edgerton was on her way to see her daughter Clare.  We had taken the same route, although she was ahead of me, and both stopped in Ennis.  Just after I finished filling the gas tank, she came running out to give me a congratulatory hug. 
Yes, I did go up Wednesday night for Steamboat's steam phase.  Scott Grisso said he was amazed when I told him I had never seen an eruption of Steamboat, and had never been there for a steam phase.  The only time it erupted while I was in the Park was one night about 10 pm back when the road from Old Faithful to Madison was closed from 9 pm to 9 am, and I didn't feel like driving around to get to Norris.  Will Boekel and Micah Kipple tried to call me on the radio when they reached the Lower Geyser Basin.  They kept calling as they passed through Madison, as did some of the others (Scott Grisso and Ben Hoppe, I believe).  Thanks to Kitt Barger who drove through Madison campground looking for my campsite.  And thankfully my pickup is fairly recognizable.  The people with her told her not to scare me when she woke me up.  I woke to the fairly quiet sound of Kitt saying, "Lynn, Steamboat's erupting.  pause.  It started about 1949."  She did an excellent job of gently waking me.  Those of us who went up that night--Will and Micah, Ben and his friend Matt, Kitt, Polly, Dean Lohrenz, Scott, Steve Robinson, and myself watched for about an hour before the lightening drove us out.  The steam phase was quite impressive, as was the grit and gravel on the boardwalk and surrounding area.
On a less positive note--When the chip sealing on Firehole Lake Drive was done, no mesh protective barriers were put on the side of the road near thermal features.  Lemon Spring has some gravel in it.  Great Fountain's boardwalk had gravel on the first 3 feet or so, and there was gravel in the runoff channel.  Great Fountain's eruptions were starting to wash some of the gravel away.  Possibly the most damaged feature was Pebble, which has a layer of gravel coating the crater.  There's gravel in Pink Cone's runoff channel, gravel in the round thumbhole, gravel on the plateau just above the thumbhole, and a small amount of gravel on the platform.  Shelf Spring's beautiful comma shaped white and orange runoff is now truncated so only the first 3 feet or so of the runoff that goes down the wall to the road is undamaged.  It ends in a barrier about 3/4 of an inch deep of gravel.  The layer of gravel has completely covered the remainder of the runoff channel.  I don't know that any eruptive characteristics of any of the features will have been damaged by the layer of gravel, but there certainly has been irreparable visual damage.  I meant to stop at the Visitor Center in West Yellowstone to get a comment form to send to the Superintendent, but didn't have time since Morning erupted about 40 minutes longer than I had planned for in calculating the least amount of time I would have if Morning waited until the end of its window.  I will get a form on my next trip, but will also need to find some time at home to search for "before" and "after" pictures of Shelf Spring's runoff, Pink Cone's runoff, and possibly Pebble's crater to attach to the form.  I would encourage anyone who is in the park in the next few weeks to also fill out a form describing the impact of the chip sealing project on the thermal features, attaching "before" and "after" pictures if you have them.
Lynn Stephens
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: </geyser-list/attachments/20130803/75c3929c/attachment.html>

More information about the Geysers mailing list