We left after my sister got home from gym, at 9:30, and got some fast food before getting on the freeway. The 5 was uneventful, but the 118 (a.k.a. the Ronald Reagan Freeway) was completely jammed.
I mean completely. Totally. It took us over two hours to cover four miles of freeway. We hit the traffic around eleven, and got out of it after one. It took another half hour or so of bumper-to-bumper street traffic to get to the staging area.
After that, we figured the wait to get on the shuttles wouldn't be too bad. But then we started talking to some of the police in the area, and started hearing numbers like seven or eight hours.
We didn't believe it, so we parked and went to see.
The line was incredible. The staging area for the shuttles was an area college, and the part of the line we saw stretched between half a dozen buildings, down a hill, and into a parking lot. Just that part must have contained thousands of people--and we weren't even seeing half of the line. The thing was barely moving.
So we ended up turning back around leaving. We would have stayed anyway, just in case people were overestimating the time, but my brother and sister had school to go to. So we drove home, arriving after four (we had to stop several times in an attempt to find a gas station with an open bathroom).
I crashed almost immediately, of course, and didn't get up until it was almost noon.
Apparently today they added a bunch more shuttles, and the shuttle lines are down to 2-4 hours. But the viewing ends at ten PM, and between an hour and a half of driving, three hours of traffic, and two hours of shuttle lines, I would get there far too late.
Still, it was probably worthwhile. We talked a lot about the history of the Cold War--a subject high school history classes tend to gloss over, focusing instead on older history--and...I dunno. Even though I didn't get to see the body (the coffin, actually--it's not open) or sign the guestbook, I feel like it was somehow worthwhile.
My parents say that in the fall, when the crowds have died down and the Reagan Library is more or less back to normal, we'll go back and pay our respects. I look forward to it.