I returned to the F-4 crash site to show John and his boys the debris field. I've been there once before back in July of 2008. Here's my previous blog post for that visit.
The Land Rover was able to drive up the sandy hill at the end of the trip. The sand was pretty deep; maybe 6 or 7 inches. I used the LR3's "sand mode" and it bogged down to the point where I had the gas floored but the wheels were barely turning and I was still creeping up the hill. Definitely a new experience for me. On my previous trip, I left my MDX at the bottom and walked up.
We found far fewer pieces than was there on my last visit. You can see some of that by comparing the photos from my previous post to these. The jet reportedly crashed in 1964 and the pilot ejected safely. The remaining debris still sparks your curiosity. Some pieces are remarkably light weight. Maybe they're made of titanium or aluminum or other metals. John's boys enjoyed searching around. Unfortunately, this time of year has the plants budding with burrs that release tiny spinter-like things that are extremely itchy and hard to remove from your skin.
On a sadder note, I accidentally drove over a leopard lizard that was on the trail. The little guy (about 14 inches long) didn't stand a chance against 3 tons of truck. Note: I'm not a herpetologist, and I'm just guessing at the species. But it was longer than wikipedia reports for leopards.