We have been wanting to hike up Sokehs Rock for a pretty long time now to see a sunrise or sunset - didn't matter which apparently as long as we saw the sun do something colorful, you know how she (he?) rolls... alas though, plans to take up the adventure have been foiled by rain - something that happens a lot here.
The hike starts out on what looks like it used to be a roughly carved staircase of large stones going up the steep mountainside, between the houses along the street. It makes you feel like you're going to find something almost forgotten going between the trees and bamboo, around corners with a cave that questions whether it is really daytime, and the endless vines hanging around like it's 4 o'clock and school is over. Eventually the stairs turn into a trail of rocks that continue to climb up the mountainside. Hiking up isn't the best part though. It is the second half of the hour when you have to rely on a cable and the massive root of plants/trees anchored to the ledges to go both horizontally and vertically. I had fun being the last one in the group with Tim Cleveland pausing and taking pictures and laughing about whatever came up, but a couple of others had a hard time facing some fears of heights. Before we began the vertical climb with the rope and cable some of us took off our shoes to go barefoot! It was pretty awesome - flat feet and all. At one point I found the perfect sized footing in the rock! It had an arch and everything and wide at the toes, narrower at the heel - I was completely enthralled while my cousin Laura was less than impressed, but attempted a "oh yeah, that's cool Nathan" - another thing we laughed about.
Once we climbed to the top, it was a kind of small plateau that had trees in the middle. The 3 of us who came up last (not because of asthma or a fear of heights mind you) knew which direction to go and that was forward. We could see the rest of the SMs already posing for group pictures in the light of the sunset so naturally, I booked it......to a random ledge where we were laughed at once someone noticed us trying to run back to the bushes and pretend it never happened. Needless to say, I was not the leader of the pack after that. Seeing our distress another SM named Raymond who has been here a number of years came back to show us the trail through the middle of the trees. With knees being scraped by plants and puddles up to my ankles I said, "Well geeze, talk about a groomed path....." as I pondered the ridiculousness of where I took us when at the time it seemed "normal" to be a few steps from the ledge. We made it to the group and took our photos and then climbed back down as the sun descended. This time with flashlights on and the occasional slip and crash of someone ahead we heard "Yep, I'm okay! Just slipped on a rock..." as their pride was left behind, wishing it had bought a pair of Tevas with the grip of a mother lioness protecting her cubs. yes, a mother lioness.