A rock that has been troubling some drivers in Bend is becoming something of a new local attraction. It has become so popular, it has amassed its own social media following and merchandise. People have also stopped by to take selfies with it.
“It’s pretty hilarious that it’s kinda like this rock has brought the community of Bend together,” Bendite Mike Aldridge said.
The rock sits at the entrance of a plaza at the corner of NE Third Street and Franklin Avenue. It has recently gained a following on social media because of the increase of accidents stranding vehicles high centered. People online have began calling the rock “B.O.B.” — apparently for Big Obvious Boulder.
Someone had some fun and posted a scoreboard next to the rock, with the boulder outscoring cars 6-1.
How people manage to get stuck in the balancing act is a mystery.
“I quite honestly don’t know how they can not see the rock. So it’s either that they’re on their phones, they’re going too fast, maybe all of the above,” director of hearing care for My Hearing Centers Kristin Morris said.
My Hearing Centers is a business in the plaza. Morris has worked there for nearly six years. She says this has been happening since she’s started working there.
“Trucks have hit it mostly and dragged the rock into the middle of the parking lot and it’s had to be replaced back into its position many times,” Morris said. “As of recently, people have actually driven on top of the rock and their cars get stuck. I believe this has happened six times in the last month.”
Morris says the rock is supposed to be a protective barrier.
“People who are driving over the rock are actually driving on a sidewalk and there’s actually ADA accessibility there, so no car should be driving in that area. It’s protecting parked cars and pedestrians,” Morris said.
Most people seem to be in support of keeping the rock where it is.
“If Bob gets removed I’m gonna stand here with a sign that says ‘Keep Bob here. I’m gonna protest,” Bendite Eva Valdez said.
“The rock’s gotta stay. It’s the rock’s world, we’re just living in it,” Aldridge said.
Social media pages have been made for B.O.B. the rock, gaining thousands of followers.
Central Oregon Daily News did reach out to the property manager to ask about the rock’s future. They did not respond. People who work in the plaza businesses say there is no indication that the property owner wants to remove the rock.