After Steamboat – a field journal entry

I knew it would happen at some point, and here it is. I’m stuck in a logjam of half-finished posts, notes that need typing up, and photos to process. Summer is here. In this post, you’ll find the rest of my field journal entry for 19 July 2020. You can read the first part of the day here.

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Continuation of the field journal entry for 19 July 2020:

After capturing images of Steamboat from farther away, I walked back around to get a photo from Decker Island. ( taken at 1207)

Steamboat Geyser erutpion on 19 July 2020

I stopped at the bridge in “Steerage” to visit a bit. The roaring from Steamboat shifted to a higher pitch as it changed from the water phase to the steam phase of the eruption. Then I took a photo of Cistern Spring (taken at 1220) and the steam phase from the lower platform (taken at 1229).

Cistern Pool 19 July 2020
Steamboat Geyser in steam phase.

At the parking lot, it looked like most cars were spared the usual drenching of water. Mine only had a light coating that came off the front windshield easily with the glass stove top cleaner and paper towels I keep in there. Since the day was still relatively young, I decided to finish the rest of the lower loop rather than risk being stuck in yet another long bison jam.

The first stop was not far from Norris to check the Chocolate Pots – I’ve noticed this year there seems to be a new one forming to the right of the main one visible from the road. Was that there before? I don’t fully recall and will need to dig through photos. [Do any of you reading remember if this was there last year?]

The Chocolate Pots not far from Norris Geyser Basin
Possibly a new Chocolate Pot forming in 2020

I stopped at Biscuit Basin as I missed that on the documentation I did recently for the Upper Geyser Basin. Overall, the energy is still on the higher portion of the basin, farther from the river.

Black Diamond looks a tad clearer, allowing another inch or two of visibility down into the pool.

Black Diamond, an unnamed thermal feature and Black Opal Pools at Biscuit Basin on 19 July 2020
The edge of Black Diamond Pool in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin on 19 July 2020.

Jewel Geyser was erupting about every 9 minutes while I was there, and Sapphire Pool is stunning as usual.

An eruption of Jewel Geyser in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin
Sapphire Pool in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin

The Silver Globe Group is still a bit splashy. Silver Globe itself has bubbles – looking very much like silver globes – rising to the surface.

The Silver Globe Group in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin
Silver Globe in Yellowstone's Upper Geyser Basin

West Geyser is looking lovely with shades of blue, green, yellow, and orange blending nicely. Sea Weed Spring has a bit over overflow now and is a bit brighter on one side. After years of being dark with low water, this is a nice change.

West Geyser at Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin
Sea Weed Spring in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin

Outpost Geyser was not erupting, but one of the small geysers behind it was. I think this is “Green Bubbler Geyser,” but I’m not positive about that. [Do you know for sure?]

"Green Bubbler Geyser" in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin

West Mustard Spring looks hotter than I recall, but again, I need to check photos. I look forward to getting all of the documentation photos organized and online, to make it easier to check these things. I’ll get back to that this winter. And I took a photo of East Mustard between eruptions to better capture the amount of microbes growing around the vent.

West Mustard Spring in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin
East Mustard Spring in Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin

I then spent a bit of time with Rusty Geyser. A couple of years ago, I sat in my car, warming up and took detailed notes on the eruptions. At that point, Rusty erupted every couple of minutes with a larger eruption about every 5 minutes. Definitely a major/minor eruption pattern. While watching this time, I noticed the pool in front of Rusty (contemplating nicknaming this “Buddy”) has heated up a bit. I need to dig out and process photos from before to thoroughly compare the difference from earlier this year. Rusty’s vent was full of bouncing water the whole time I was there with some small splashes and two eruptions that were 10 minutes apart. Even after these eruptions, though, the crater never fully drained of water.

Rusty Geyser and an Unnamed Thermal Feature at Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin
Rusty Geyser at Yellowstone's Biscuit Basin

After this, I found myself a bit tired from a busy week, so I decided to take a quick bathroom break at Old Faithful and head back to Cody. On my way out the east entrance road, I spent a bit of time in the Raspberry/Jam jam (ooh – that cub’s nickname – is it too late to change it?). From there, it was a little over an hour of pleasant driving to back to Cody.

Grizzly Bears on the East Entrance Road in Yellowstone

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