The Jedediah Smith wilderness area and bike trail cuts a transverse swath through one of America's major metropolitan areas, within it lies 32 miles of parkway, and is one of Sacramento California's most beautiful attractions. It is also one of the most haunted.
An ancient stave of trees can be not only a site for a lovely riparian picnic, but also a place to hide the darkest of human actions. Conceivably, for every murder in the world that receives full justice, fifteen murders go without justice. Why wouldn't a victim long for justice? As a teenager here, I always knew better than to explore there alone or in darkness. Just too many stories...
It wasn't until I was 25 that I walked there at night. And that was only on the levy that skirted the area, mere feet away from lighted apartments, and in the company of man who would and could protect me.
The specific spot is just a mile of so east of the Watt Avenue bridge on the Rosemont side of the city. My partner was an amazing person, a native American from the Umatilla tribe and part Norwegian. He could literally catch wild animals with his bare hands and was sensitive enough just to pick a spot and pick up native arrowheads in the sand. Just so you know I was in very good hands that night.
My feelings of protection lent me enough energy to admire the sever and wild beauty around me. The moon was close to full and shone lithe on the river, the animals that lived therein were as loud as a garage band on J street, and the trees and brambles hid everyone of them.
Up ahead of us Rob and I noticed a woman walking toward us on the levy. She was alone and seemed to walk confidently and unafraid. Rob and I moved over on the levy path to give her space to pass. The lights of the apartments and the moon reflected off the paleness of her clothes.
Our conversation died away as she came closer and just seemed to fade - leaving behind whiteness, then a pale vapor - then nothing at all. We were so frightened we immediately left the trail and cut back through the apartments to get home, hurrying to get the area out of sight and behind us! Please, don't go there at night, remember that was just on the outskirts of the wilderness, imagine what is in its HEART!