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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Ronald Regan Presidential Library

Saturday, October 15  we pulled out of Visalia, Ca. headed south towards LA with some apprehension about getting so close to the big city. We traveled highway 99 south to Bakersfield  where we hung a left on Highway 58 and   crossed the Tehachappi Mountains and then turned right on highway 14 near the Mojave Air and Space Port and continued on to our destination, Acton, Ca. The trip was about 185 miles with moderate traffic and a pleasant drive through mostly desert terrain. We had reservations at The Californian RV Resort for four nights. I've been griping about the rates being higher as we get near large cities or major attractions. Well, I guess that's not always true as this was one of the nicer parks we've stayed at and they even accept Passport America for three nights, which means we stayed three out of four nights for half price. Acton is in LA County and is about fifty miles from the big city, but is only twenty miles from Simi Valley, where we planned to visit the Ronald Regan Library.  Visiting the Regan Library has long been on the top five of my bucket list and I couldn't wait to see it. We decided it might be best to go there on Sunday, thinking the traffic would be lighter. We rode with Terry and Kathy in their Jeep as it would be easier to navigate in traffic and park.  Terry loves to drive in traffic anyway! (Not) The library did not disappoint and exceeded my expectations. The library is jointly owned and operated by the Federal Government and The Regan Foundation. The Library was built with non-tax dollars and is absolutely first class. The Regan Foundation even arranged to have the  retired Air Force One plane  that served President Regan brought to the museum.

Our remaining time here was spent sight seeing in the area and visiting the well known Singing Highway in Lancaster, Ca. I found a decent You Tube video of the highway  that can be seen and heard here.

Seems like I mentioned at the beginning of this trip RVer's plans are set in Jello meaning they can be changed at a moments notice. Well, that has happened to us. We're cutting the trip short and starting back east when we leave here. We want to get home in time to vote, and at the rate we're going, we're not going to make it unless we start back. Our next stop will be Las Vegas for four days.

Our location in Acton, Ca. We're in LA County which is about close enough for me!

The Californian RV Resort in Acton. Very nice park.

Our sites were a little on the small side but for $27.25/night for full hook ups in a nice park, a good deal!

Shots made from our site of the scenic mountains and palm trees, a pretty unusual combination, at least on the east coast.

An LA County Fire Station was next door to the park.

Front entrance to Regan Library

 I thought the Republican elephant in front of the library was pretty neat.

Life size statue of President Reagan in cowboy attire at front entrance.

Portrait of President Regan in front of library. It's my personal opinion, he was one of the best presidents of the modern era. Not only was he a good leader but a good person with strong spiritual and moral values. I can't help but wonder what he would think of  our country's political mess we are in now.

This inscription was above his portrait.

Statue of Ronald and Nancy greet you as you enter the museum.

His Mother's bible that he took the oath of office on twice.

A presidential podium complete with working tele-prompters. Kathy was checking it out and flashing the Trump sign.

Replica of the Oval Office in the White House while President Regan was in office.

There are many Regan Foundation volunteers working throughout the museum that are very knowledgeable and helpful in explaining the exhibits. This lady explained the detail in duplicating the Oval Office and pointed out the artifacts that were used in the office while President Regan was in office.

Life size painting of President Regan that looked very lifelike.

President Regan had a deep affection for horses and kept them on his ranch in California.

Most impressive display of Air Force One that was added on to the original library. The plane had to be dis-assembled to be transported to the library and re-assembled inside the building by Boeing employees.

The plane rests on pedestals some 25 feet above the first floor of the library.

Impressive display depicting the role of the Secret Service in providing security to the First Family.

View of the beautiful Simi Valley from an upper level window.

This gentleman was a volunteer at the library and gave us a brief overview of the history of  Air Force One.  This Boeing 707 was assigned an ID of  SAM 27000 , which was it's call sign when the President was not on board, but used Air Fore One when he was on board. It was also used by six other presidents in its active service life from 1973 until 2001, including Richard Nixon during his second term, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. In 1990, it became a backup aircraft after the Boeing 747s entered into service and was retired in 2001

There was a photographer there to take your picture as you boarded. I took a picture of him taking a picture of Terry and Kathy.

The Cajuns on Air Force One!

Communications station adjacent to cockpit.

Conference room near middle of plane.

Same room but notice container of Jelly Beans, a personal favorite of President Regan.

Galley at rear of plane.

Talk about a small world. These folks are from Shelby and Statesville!  Who would have thought we would run into somebody from our home town 2000 miles away from home!

Nice mural on wall showing different generations of Air Force One.

Typical vehicles used in Presidential Motorcade.

Actual Marine One Helicopter used in short flights by the President.

We got to check it out too! Looks like Crickett is ready to go!

The cockpit of Marine One. Our son-in-law used to work on these when he was in the Marines.

I was trying to get Marine One and Air Force One in the same shot.

I took this shot from the outside to give you a perspective on how large the glass wall is in this section of the building. There are extensive beams and braces to support the glass wall.

I spotted this cross on one of the hilltops while on an overlook at the Library.

Portrait Of President Regan made entirely from Jelly Beans.

Section of Berlin Wall that President Regan was instrumental in getting taken down.

Statues of President Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev. They had four summits where they negoiated dramatic reductions in nuclear weapons and brought an end to the cold war.

Photos of President Regan at his California ranch, Rancho del Cielo

Exhibit with Camp David artifacts.

Regan wrote those memorable letter to the American Public telling of his diagnosis of Alzheimer's. It was called "The Sunset of My Life" letter.

Photo of President Regan's casket being taken to the Capitol where he layed in state in the rotunda.

Photo of sunset funeral for President Regan. The officer saluting Nancy Regan was the commander of the aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Regan.

Display of artifacts from his funeral. The flag was the one that adorned his casket, the bugle used to play taps at his funeral and the riding boots were his personal boots used in his Washington funeral procession on the riderless horse.

Entrance to the museum gift shop.

Back side of the Library

Grave site of President and Mrs. Regan

The inscription on the wall reads "I know in my heart that man is good.That what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life".

View from their grave site looking west. The Pacific can be seen from here on a clear day as well as spectacular sunsets.

The grave site is just beyond the large Oak tree in middle of the photo.

Really cool road in Lancaster Ca. where they have cut groves in the pavement that plays the William Tell Overture when driven across at 55 MPH. The William Tell Overture is better known as the theme song to The Lone Ranger!