Autumn is truly a glorious time to travel the California Coast. The weather is usually agreeable with foggy mornings, glorious sun-soaked days and cool nights. Driving south on U.S. Highway 101 from the Monterey Peninsula I am astounded by the views of farm workers following behind huge farm implements picking produce at a rapid pace. Mile after mile the sight remains the same although the crop is different. Salinas, Soledad, Greenfield and then the vineyards of San Miguel and Paso Robles begin to dominate before turning west to reach the coast of the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean.
Views along the Pacific Coast (L.Compisi)
This is part three of my multi-part series chronicling our 2017 Road Trip from Sonoma County, California to San Diego, California covering over 1,200 round trip miles and 12 days of beautiful sights, sounds, wine, food and spirits – all in the name of adventure.
Situated high on a mountain top above Simi Valley in Southern California the Ronald Wilson Reagan Presidential Library stands as a reminder and explainer of the America and the world during the final years of the Soviet Union. Considering the wide-spread angst surrounding the current administration it was very timely to take a nostalgic stroll through celebrating the life of this former sportscaster, radio star, film and television actor, governor and president. Like the mountain, Mount McCoy, which it rests on, the Reagan Library may be considered a guide post for some seeking a return to a time when presidential leadership was clear, concise, good humored and widely respected.
The Reagan Library sits high above Simi Valley (L.Compisi)
The Reagan Library is in Simi Valley about 45 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 30 miles due east of Ventura just off the Ronald Reagan Freeway (CA 118). Its exhibits and facilities lovingly and factually chronicle the 50-year career of this American actor and politician from his early days in radio as a sports caster to the big screen as a leading man to his life as California’s 33rd Governor and ultimately to his 8 years as the 40th President of the United States of America.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Portrait (L.Compisi)
It is fascinating to read about the philosophy and values that President Reagan developed starting as a Democrat and later switching to Republican as he developed his belief that smaller government and the American people, not elites in Washington D.C. where better at maintaining and growing the idea of America envisioned by the founders. He faced an amazing array of challenges including the Cold War, Communism and Dictatorships in the Southern Hemisphere of South America, the illegal Air Traffic Controllers strike during which he fired over 11,000 controllers for violating his order to return to work and so many more. Most he handled adeptly and successfully through the prism of history, but some were near disasters like the Iran-Contra Affair for which he publicly and quite contritely apologized to the American people on National television during prime time.
Mr. Gorbachev tore down this section of the Berlin Wall at Reagan’s request (L.Compisi)
During his two terms in office, inflation was reduced from 12.5% to 4.4%, average Gross Domestic Product grew by an average of 3.4%; domestic discretionary spending was cut, taxes were cut and military spending was increased.
The Library’s replica of the Oval Office (L.Compisi)
The Library and Museum provides a treasure trove of audio and video archives of so many of his historic speeches as a candidate, as Governor as President and even as President of Hollywood’s Screen Actors Guild. His ability to communicate about complex issues with simple commonsense language was unmatched and remains so, in this writer’s opinion.
Maggie had a special relationship with President Reagan (L.Compisi)
The Library and Museum also hosts special exhibits. While I was there the exhibit was a collection of artifacts and information regarding the efforts to find the Titanic. The back story on this effort is worth a trip to the Library alone!
An earlier version of Air Force One at the Library (L.Compisi)
MUSEUM HOURS: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week EXCEPT New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The grounds outside the Reagan Library and Museum (L.Compisi)
GETTING THERE: The Library is only an hour from Los Angeles International and about 7.5 hours from San Francisco down Interstate 5.
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