[Geysers] Quick report

Lynn Stephens lstephens2006 at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 18 20:07:22 PDT 2013

Just a quick report of a few things I've seen between 1800 on Aug 16 and 1530 August 18.
No real geyser news from the evening of August 18th.  But in the two hours I spent on Firehole Lake Drive, I noticed:
--a wrong way driver at White Dome
--an out of bounds camper at Pink Cone--He had backed a pickup about 30 feet off the road, set up a canvas tarp and tent, tied a bright yellow bicycle to a tree, etc., etc.  When the camper talked to me, among other things, he told me he had already had a visit from a ranger.  The camper was still quite upset about the $250 fine and wanted the fee he'd paid for the $80 annual permit back because he was never coming back to a place where he couldn't camp wherever he wanted, expecially since he was under the impression the man at the entrance gate had told him he could camp wherever he wanted to camp.
--a small bobcat was parked near the entrance to Firehole Lake Drive.  There were piles of gravel on the road side of some of the bumper logs at Great Fountain.  The gravel that was thrown into runoff channel from Bead south past Pink Cone during the road chip seal process had been removed and the "lower part" of the comma of Bead's runoff had reappeared.  On Friday I talked with Larry Christensen, a law enforcement volunteer, he, after discussing the project with Hank Heasler who had visited the area, had assumed responsibility for cleaning up as much of the damage as possible.  Larry is using a shovel to clean out the gravel.  The bobcat is being used to move the gravel piles Larry has placed on the road into a vehicle to be removed.  Larry indicated he couldn't do the type of clean-up he might have wanted to do around Gemini/Pebble/Crack because the sinter is too hollow sounding there.  Thanks very much to Larry for his efforts.  They are very much appreciated and the area looks much better.  "Stay off" signs and additional bumper logs have appeared at Lemon, which I am very happy to see because now when I ask people and their children to come back to the road I can point to the signs.  (There's a long story about an encounter I had with a man at Lemon Spring so if you don't like the signs, I am partially to blame.
Friday--August 16
When I woke up at Madison campground, my first stop, naturally was Lower Geyser Basin.  I had not heard about the 38 minute duration the preceding evening, but since I'm spending almost all my gazing time in the Lower Basin, I wasn't going to go past the Fountain Paint Parking lot even if I hadn't seen a string of gazer vehicles there.  When I left on August 2, my final major geyser was a Trifecta; my greeting on my gazing return was a dual.  I had disaggregated the times from Fountain to Morning, and Morning to Morning into subsets, showing roughly--(I haven't checked my calculations, am not certain I got all the intervals, and am not certain all the intervals I originally listed are known to be closed intervals)  
     Fountain to Morning 8:28 to 9:55 (add 10:50 for the 8/18 interval), with a median of about 9 hours
     Fountain to Dual 8:24 to 10:21 with a median of about 9 1/2 hours
     Dual to Fountain--6:02 and 7:15
     Dual to Morning--perhaps 8:50 and 11:58 but I haven't checked to determine whether the area was under observation such that we know these were closed intervals
     Morning to Fountain:  <2:05 to 7:40, median about 4 1/2 hours
     Morning to Morning:  possibly 11:54 and 12:01
Because there were (and still are) so few data points for dual to next event, I decided to play it safe and use a 3-5 hour interval after a dual for my safety.  We added a 4:52 dual to Morning interval with the 1220 eruption of Morning on 8/17.
With the exception of an hour's break in the morning when I went to White Dome to cook breakfast and White Dome did not erupt during the 60 minutes I was there and two one hour breaks in the Fountain Paint Pot parking lot, I spent the entire day from 06:30 to 2100 at the Fountain Complex.
Saturday--August 17
    After the 34m10s duration of Fountain at 2000 on 8/16, I set my alarm for 3:30, expecting I might see at least some part of Fountain's next eruption.  Instead, as I drove across Fountain Flats at 3:55, I could only one steam cloud--from Clepsydra--and when I arrived at Fountain at 0410, the runoff channel was wet, indicating Fountain had started an eruption sometime before 03:25.
   Great Fountain erupted at 0433 (p=0).  The eruption had 5 bursts with no 6th burst, so I was expecting a 12-13 hour interval.  Instead, it went out 14h04m.  I did not stay for the duration of the evening eruption.
    White Dome had a 13 minute and a 29 minute interval.
    I stayed on Firehole Lake Drive, catching a Narcissus steam cloud at 0546ie, then a short duration Narcissus about 2 hours later.
    I also got lucky with Labial, getting my first closed interval of the season--6h18m.
    I saw an eruption of Pink, but didn't get a closed interval.  Box Spring was fairly regular at about 20-25 minutes.  Bead was having 30-37 minute intervals.  I did not see a Pink Cone start, but Steve Eide and I had consecutive ie sightings about 2200 on three consecutive days.  (The frying pan area in the runoff channel was not adversely impacted by clean up of the runoff channel.
    As a side note--I had 5 wrong way drivers while I was out there on Firehole Lake Drive today.  
    Because I did not have an exact time or duration for the early morning Fountain, I was back at the overlook at 0942, and was rewarded with a short wait when Fountain erupted at 1023 ( duration 33m20s, double interval 14h23m).  Maureen has posted elsewhere that she and I were the only two that waited out the 10h50m from that Fountain to the eruption of Morning at 2113.  I wasn't expecting Morning after the short interval and short duration Fountain, but had gotten hopeful when Morning's Thief hadn't started bubbling at the 9 hour and then 10 hour mark.  It was a moonlit eruption.  Neither of us had a flashlight, but didn't need one to write in my logbook, or distinguish water from steam.  We couldn't see the blue bubble, rather we saw a "black" bubble because there was a black base at the bottom of the white water.  Two rather disinterested tourists walked through, but for most the eruption Maureen and I were the only two people present so we could easily hear the frequent pop boom from the blue bubbles as they burst.  
    Because I had looked at the data, which showed the next event could be anywhere from about 2 hours to about 12 hours, and because I had had only 15 hours sleep in 3 nights, I decided I was not going to stay for the next event, and was not going to set my alarm.  
Sunday, August 18
     I woke up at 12:42, and the "I got's to know" emotion kicked in, so I got dressed and drove to Fountain Paint Pots.  At 1:00 as I was crossing Fountain Flats and in the parking lot there was only one steam cloud (Clepsydra's).  When I arrived at Fountain, the runoff channel was wet, and the water was lukewarm indicating that an eruption of at least Fountain had occurred.  
    I went back to Madison to try to get some more sleep.  When I returned to Fountain Paint Pots at 6:10, Rocco was there.  When we arrived at Fountain, the runoff was once again wet and the water was lukewarm.  Missed another event.  Fountain, dual, who knows.
    Could these two eruptions fit with the 2113 Mornimg?  Yes.
    One possibility:  2113 Morning to 2315 Fountain solo (interval of 2 hours), followed by 05:30 Fountain solo (interval of 6h45minutes, very short for this season, but not impossible. 
  Another possibility:  midnight dual (shorten prior Morning to dual interval of 3:32 to 2:45 with a dual starting about 0000), followed by a dual to Fountain (shorten prior short interval from dual to Fountain from 6:02 to 5:15).  
  Examination of electronic data (when it becomes available) will show times when Fountain erupted.  If a dual occurred, then the Fountain duration will probably reveal that. 
   Twig was having "rogue" eruptions the past three days--erupting not in connection with Fountain.
   I'll write up Jet, Spasm, Super Frying Pan, etc. at some future time.
  Enduring memory of visitors today--the constant stream of people who left the boardwalk to experience the breakout area with its hot muddy water close up.  
   I went over to Great Fountain to cook breakfast, watched the first two bursts, then went back to the Fountain overlook where I spent the rest of the day until Fountain erupted at 1455 (d=31m25s).  I headed to Belgrade/Bozeman after Fountain ended to run some errands.  Cassidy and Connor, my grandchildren, Cassidy and Connor, will be spending the next week with me.  This will limit my night time gazing, but also means I'll be getting a reasonable amount of sleep.
    Please forgive any errors and/or inconsistencies, problems with outline not making sense, etc.    I don't do well with an average of less than 5 hours sleep over 4 nights.
Lynn Stephens
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