Why the title ‘The Big Rock’ you ask? I’ll say, because when I stepped out of my car, gazing at the landscape I was about to adventure, I said wow.. that’s one big rock! I’ve hiked many trails, mountains, ant hills, rocks.. but this, I could tell, has been waiting for me for a long time. It’s as if it said to me, “Finally, we meet!!” I started at 3pm to catch the sun setting and the cool evening air. Knowing I had to be off trail by 5:30, I started in with a good pace. With my calves pulling and feeling the intensity of the quick elevation.. I stuck with the good pace, only breaking to snap a quick picture here and there. I approached the saddle 30 minutes in and looked to my left and said, “Ah! So this is where it begins!” The drastic downs, the slippery slopes, the cables.. it’s what I had been looking forward to the entire time. Little did I know it was just the beginning of the cable climbing and crawling. With every single step, I had the biggest smile on my face. It is amazing the freeing feeling I have come over me when I’m hiking, and it never diminishes. I summited Picacho Peak at 4:13pm. The position of the cables and trail markings were phenomenal and let me focus 100% on my footing rather than worrying about finding my way. The final stretch to the summit, switchbacks and all, I knew what I accomplished had always been something that was meant to be. As I summited, there was a calmness at the top. Every mountain has its own type of calm, peace that it brings to your mind, body and soul. At 4:33 I started the descent. Knowing the 5:30 trail off time, I didn’t waste any time. I met some super nice people along the way and enjoyed quick greetings and conversations with them. There were only eight hikers, including me, on the trail at the time of descent. On my way down I snapped a picture of myself that captured Sunrays. To me this was my recently passed cousin showing he was with me. I quickly wrapped up the hike with a few quick pictures of the setting sun and the breathtaking Arizona landscape. I stepped off trail at 5:28pm. I took one more look at The Big Rock and said a simple, yet meaningful, “Thank you!” To be one with nature is nearly my everything, my daughter is my absolute everything!! Keep hiking my fellow hikers.. life is truly amazing!! .. and so is this trail!