The Legend of Big Rock

Big Rock Growing up in Wading River, there was a huge swath of woods along the back of our development, which provided fun for playing Army, sledding, hiking and exploring when I was a lad of 10. Since then, it's yielded somewhat to development. Our development was extended, someone built a golf course and more developments came in.

When I was a little kid, I used to hear the older kids who had lived in the development longer than me talk about a massive rock that was the size of a house. It was always talked about as if it were a good distance off into the woods, and for a couple years I didn't get the chance to verify the rumor. One day, though, I did follow some of the older boys to the Big Rock. For a young kid, this was terrifying because Big Rock was quite a distance from my house. The terrain was too treacherous to ride bikes there, and on short legs, walking there was a time- and energy-consuming task. Still, I did hike out there a couple times as a young kid and get a glimpse of this huge rock.

If you've grown up on Long Island and learned about its history in the public school system, you know about how Long Island was formed. A byproduct of the process of it being formed by the retreat of the glaciers is the peppering of the island with large boulders known as glacial erratics. Big Rock is one of many of those.

Back to my story. At some point after college, someone decided to buy up the land on which Big Rock stood, and they decided to put a golf course there. The clubhouse and course went in, houses and condos went up around it. They called the course "Great Rock" after the glacial erratic my childhood buddies and I knew as Big Rock.

So now there's Great Rock Golf Club. Right in the middle of this golf course is Big Rock.  Our Big Rock.  There's also a nice restaurant called Blackwell's.  And that's where my group of friends ended up on Friday night.

Of course, we had steaks and wine and beer well into the night.  And when we were done, we thought it might be fun to go visit our Big Rock.

So we did.  In the dark.  In the middle of an unlit golf course.  Late at night.  We climbed the rock just like we were 10 years old again, and that's where the blurry, dark photo above came from.

From the top of Big Rock, you can see lights from several towns over, pretty much all of Wading River and much of the neighboring towns.  I wish I had a nighttime camera, because the view is breathtaking.