You’ll see it when you come around the bend, so you’ll have time to be prepared. As you drive up Oregon’s Mount Hood on Highway 26, start looking for it after you pass by the small town of Rhododendron and just before you get to the town of Government Camp.
As soon as you see it, turn off your radio. Remind those in the car to stop talking. Hold your breath if you need to.
And as you drive by, be completely silent.
Because if you’re not completely silent, who knows what will happen.
Silent Rock has been a fixture on Mount Hood for decades, the stuff of local legend. Many in the area tell of people who made noise and ended up with flat tires, lost ski equipment, broken bones and other problems during their days skiing or hiking on Mount Hood.
This article, written at three different reading levels for grades 3-10, gives each student a chance to get the content while reading at their own comprehension level. Class discussions and assignments can be done together, but the reading material is differentiated.
After reading about the various stories and legends about how Silent Rock got it’s “power,” students may have some fun coming up with their own stories to explain Silent Rock, or they may write legends about a particular landmark where they live.
My personal favorite explanation for Silent Rock involves two of my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest: volcanoes (like Mount Hood) and Sasquatch, also known as Big Foot.
The Mount Hood Volcano God is currently sleeping; the volcano isn’t dormant, but it’s highly unlikely to erupt any time soon. A Sasquatch henchman is on guard at Silent Rock, warning passers-by to be quiet, lest they wake the volcano god and set off an eruption. If you’re not quiet, Sasquatch will come after you.