/Natural sounds of steam flowing out of a geyser/
(Female voice) Around 11 o'clock I heard a noise
I listened to it for a while, and I thought
it's probably just traffic and I went back to bed.
Then I thought, no...you know I can't sleep anyway
so I'm going to get up and I'm going to drive over there.
Sure enough, Steamboat was having a major eruption.
I was flooded with excitement, and I decided I needed
to go back and get my co-workers...they needed to experience this.
(1st Male voice) I heard a knocking at my door. I woke up and I saw Rosa was there
and she said, "Steamboat Geyser is erupting!"
"Steamboat Geyser is erupting...do you want to go?"
(2nd Male voice) It just took me a second to really hit me what she was saying.
At first I actually thought she was joking.
When we got here, it was pretty evident what was going on.
We could see the big silhouette from the plume rising in the sky.
So we park the car, then we run down here
and we get down to the lower platform, and we just starting getting
(1st Male voice) drenched...raining sand and silica
(2nd Male voice) and it's so loud...there was such a tremendous roar.
(Female voice) It sounds like a freight train is moving through here.
(2nd Male voice) To talk we were having to just get close and yell at each other.
It was almost like a little, mini party at that moment. We all started
(Female voice) jumping around, yelling, hugging each other...it was just the three of us
(1st Male voice) it was incredible...the sounds and the sights...it was incredible.
(2nd Male voice) Steamboat Geyser is the largest active geyser in the world.
(1st Male voice) Major eruptions can be up to 380 feet high,
(Female voice) so it's three times Old Faithful...the length of a football field
or a 30-story building.
(2nd Male voice) And it is entirely unpredictable.
(1st Male voice) Major eruptions have been anywhere from four days to 50 years apart,
(2nd Male voice) And this is only the second major eruption we've had
since 2005. The last one prior to last night's was
(1st Male voice) July 31st, 2013.
(2nd Male voice) So all summer the thought's crossed my mind:
man, that would really just make my summer if we had
a major Steamboat eruption.
I've been explaining to visitors how unlikely it is
that they'll see a major eruption.
Finally, we actually got one.
And it's an experience unlike any other that I've witnessed.
(Female voice) Spectacular.
(1st Male voice) It was amazing...once in a lifetime.
(Female voice) My name is Rosa Prasser.
(2nd Male voice) My name is Mike Schijf.
(1st Male voice) I'm Curtis Akin...I'm a resource education ranger
at Norris Geyser Basin, and I've been here for nine summers.
(2nd Male voice) and this is my first summer working in Yellowstone
(Female voice) it's my second season here in the geyser basin.
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What's it like to witness an eruption of the world's largest active geyser? Three employees share their story from the night of September 3, 2014.
Last updated: July 26, 2018