I am taking a break from my usual poetic vein to give voice to something that is happening at my favorite volcano: music.

Now I love music as much as the next gal. It is my release and my excuse for dancing. It does not belong in the wilderness.

I worked at Mount St. Helens for the Forest Service, seasonally, for 6 years. Some nights I wake up in a sweat dreaming Johnston Ridge has been turned into a resort, with a god-awful restaurant and spa.

Hosting music events, with the potential for “weddings” and “retreats” is just the beginning of a number of horrendous ideas put forth for this beautiful space.

#1…The Forest Service went ahead with the building of the amphitheater because the money was already allocated. “Use it or lose it…” when they barely have enough money to staff the place and have to rely on non-profits and volunteers to keep the doors open.

#2 WTF???!!! This is a NATIONAL MONUMENT…maybe the PARK SERVICE should take it over after ALL. We are talking about a spot that is 5 miles from the base of the volcano. Elk, coyotes, and sometimes bears roam freely there.

#3 The Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center exists. Why not host the concert inside this facility, which has had to be closed in the past years (after only opening in 1993). It will be better for the musicians’ equipment too. Do the retreats and the weddings there, too. Anyone in their right mind would not want a wedding where the bride’s veil (and other things) could be blown off the ridge. The extra noise and visitation shouldn’t bother wildlife either.

#5 David Johnston DIED at this site. Yes, it was 32 years ago now, but this is a place to explore the magnificence of nature and learn about science, not host music events and weddings.

Ugh. I am appalled and disgusted. I need about 500 beers or so before I can forget about this one. And I don’t plan to. I think I have to contact the Executive Director. Not that there is much I can do. Balls.


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