The great success of the show, Yellowstone, tells us that millions of Americans still yearn for the great outdoors. For Kevin Costner it is the Dutton Ranch. For Ronald Reagan it was his Rancho del Cielo. It might be time for you to discover yours, because he beauty of the land and the mountains, the rivers and oceans, still resonates with our primal desire to be in touch with nature.
Rawhide! President Ronald Reagan loved working with his hands, and being outdoors. And, you can see from this photo, taken at Camp David in November of 1981, that he loved to ride horses.
Photo Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library“I’ve often said, there’s nothing better for the inside of a man, than the outside of a horse.”
– Ronald Reagan on many occasions.
Rancho del Cielo
This picture of Reagan was taken 7 months after the 70-year old entered George Washington University Hospital to have a would-be-assassin’s bullet removed from his chest. Horseback riding at Camp David was therapeutic for Ronald Reagan. But, Rancho del Cielo was his true sanctuary.
He called it his “Cathedral in the Sky” (Rancho del Cielo is Spanish for Sky’s Ranch, or Heaven’s Ranch). It is where he could sort out problems while riding his favorite seventeen-hands-high thoroughbred for hours at a time. He could enjoy Mother Nature in all her glory.
He kept his ranch simple, sturdy and rugged.
Riding with Reagan
According to Secret Servive Agent John R. Barletta, in his book Riding With Reagan, “When President Reagan was elected, he became the first modern president who enjoyed horseback riding, and I was tasked with establishing a Secret Service detail on horseback to protect him on his rides.”
“He loved physical labor, which was something the press could never quite understand. Every year, the President hosted a party for the traveling press at Barney Clinger’s estate in Santa Barbara. At the party, Sam Donaldson once said,
‘Now, Mr. President, I hear you like to go out and trim trees and cut wood.’
‘Yes, yes I do,’ the President responded.
Donaldson went on. ‘Now just how big is the ranch?’
‘Six hundred and eighty-eight acres.’
‘Well, Mr. President, at that rate you’ll never be through trimming.’
‘I hope not, Sam.’ He said.”
His love of the ranch was one of the reasons why the Secret Service’s code name for Reagan was Rawhide.
Where is your Rancho del Cielo? Connecting with Mother Nature
Do you have a passion that gets you outdoors to ride horses, or ski, or mountain bike? Do you enjoy hiking, or boating, or bird-watching, or hunting, or fishing, or walking the beach?
How do you connect with Mother Nature on a regular basis? Breath the fresh air, walk the land, and surf the water? Reagan believed that it was energizing to do physical activity outdoors. It made him more effective when he was at work in the White House. It kept him in a positive frame of mind.
He wasn’t one to spend vacation time relaxing all day on a beach chair. He worked hard, broke a sweat, worked with his hands. He loved the physical activity, and it kept him in outstanding physical condition.
Be intentional and identify your Rancho del Cielo!