Joseph's Coat is now only about a half mile away and there are some nice grassy areas on the east side of Broad Creek in which we can travel. For the first time we are able to get out of the creek not for 20 or 30 yards, but for 200 yards or more. When we get back into the creek Mark and I recognize the area from which we left Joseph's Coat to head up hill to Coffee Pot. We are back.
While Mark and Lori decide if they are going to change out of their Crocs, I am busy getting my camera out. I tell Mark to take the others on ahead to 4B1 and that I will meet them there. I want to saunter through Joseph's Coat at a leisurely pace, taking pictures.
"How long should I wait before I come back to look for you," says Mark. "I mean, in case you sprain an ankle or something."
Okay, he's not wishing bad luck on me or assuming general incompetence.
"Half hour," I say. That is all that can be spared.
At the last moment Laurie decides to stay back with me. I let Mark, Lori and Dianne get a good lead and then Laurie and I head out. I stop at the active area where The Whistler is located and Laurie and I talk about the runoff channel for Scorodite Spring. The runoff channel is pronounced and obvious and when Scorodite was active it must have expelled prodigious amounts of water. But now all Scorodite can muster is an occasional of a puff of steam.
I look carefully for the vent for The Whistler and although I can guess where it must lie based on descriptions and steam output, I cannot see a vent from this side of the creek. The hillside, however, is lined with steaming fumaroles. I immediately think of Roaring Mountain and know from the various trip reports that I have read that I am not the first to have made the connection.
When we get over near Spring No. 2, Laurie wants her photo taken. Spring No. 2 is a large, vigorous pool. Although it boils to a foot or so, there is little or no runoff.
As Laurie and I approach the confluence of the thermally creek and Broad Creek we hear a mighty shout from the area near 4B1. The others must have arrived. Laurie and I take another moment to take a look up the thermally creek to the area where we bivouacked in 2003. As we head up over the Shoulder I take the route near the edge so that I can point out the waterfall where Broadside Geyser lies. Although I look carefully and hope with all my heart, there is no eruption.
When Laurie and I round the last hill before the campsite we can see that the group has strung some lines between trees and has hung some things to get them dry out. Laurie and I join in this activity, although the clouds are definitely closing in on us. If we could just get some direct sun for even a half hour it would be of great benefit.