Journey to the Sandhill Cranes
We have long wanted to experience the magic of the Sandhill Crane migration and this is the year that we will do it! Join us for an amazing journey to see one of the great migration stories of the world. Over the last several months, we have developed contacts in Nebraska, spoken to local guides and worked to design a unique adventure weekend. Pricing includes lodging and multiple tours, as well as the ease of knowing that you will be with friends and that DGA is taking care of all the details. This will be an excellent adventure.
Here are the details:
When: March 26th -28th, 2021
Where: North Platte, Nebraska
What: You will travel on Friday (carpooling encouraged) to arrive in North Platte before bed. We’re hoping that you arrive before dinner so that we can spend the evening together. The drive from Topeka area is about 6 hours.
Before sunrise we have arranged bus service to transport us to a river blind where we will have the opportunity to observe the Sandhill Cranes wake up on the river and fly into the fields – this experience has been described as deeply moving and beautiful. A roost is never completely quiet. In the morning as you arrive at the blind in the full dark, the cooing and murmuring of the Cranes will have continued unabated from the night before. As the dawn approaches, the noise and activity on the roost will rise to a crescendo. A few small groups will take wing until finally the air will reverberate with thousands of flapping wings as the entire roost rises to greet the day.
1:30pm Gather to load the guided tour bus which will take us to several locations to observe the Sandhill Cranes. The 2+ hour tour will take you through the meadows and crop fields of rural Lincoln County where the Sandhill Cranes spend the bulk of their day. Here they will feed on waste grain and insects, but most of all they will dance! Scientists believe the dancing triggers hormones that will insure a successful nesting season and it strengthens the pair bonds. The bus provides an excellent elevated viewing platform, and your Guide will stop wherever large flocks of Cranes have congregated. The tour also includes educational information about the Sandhill Cranes, their time in the North Platte area and the migration.
After an early-ish dinner we will re-board the bus and travel back to a river blind to watch the Sandhill Cranes return to their sandbar for the night. This is their safe haven through the night and is an awesome sight to see. There is nothing quite like watching the sunset in a blind on the river next to a roost with thousands of Sandhill Cranes. They will leave their feeding and loafing grounds in the late afternoon, then as sunset nears, will make their way to the safety of the river to spend the night. As the sun sets their loud raucous calls will quiet to cooing and murmuring, with the occasional loud honk.
In between these planned adventures, we will have some flex time. You can choose to relax at the hotel (pool and hot tub available), join us for a hike on the North Platte trail system or explore shopping in the area.
Before sunrise we will hop on the tour bus for a ride to a private location where we will have the opportunity to see the Greater Prairie Chickens. These birds are now rare and are listed on the Vulnerable population list of species. In the spring the hearts of the Nebraska Greater Prairie Chickens turn toward love. To successfully attract a female mate, the male Prairie Chickens must impress them with their dancing prowess. Males will gather in large numbers on dancing grounds knowns as leks. They will cackle, jump and stomp their feet, sometimes scuffling with a rival. Then they will scrunch down and inflate their bright orange neck sacks and emit an eerie booming sound.
After this adventure, we will likely have some lunch, maybe stop into a couple of shops then head home to Kansas with our hearts and minds full of memories and a desire to sleep a little late on Monday.
$350 per person for Club Members
$400 for non-members
This includes the following:
2 nights in LaQuinta
(rooms are available for double occupancy – find a roommate!)
Breakfast both days
4 guided viewing events some on private land
Transportation to all viewings and tours
This doesn’t include lunches/dinners
Warm clothing, sturdy shoes
Pocket money for incidentals
NO REFUNDS AVAILABLE 30 DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP
Covid -19 Considerations
Buses will allow for us to be spaced out and masked – if maximum participants sign up we will have 2 busses.
We will work to follow all social distancing, masking and sanitation guidelines to ensure safety throughout this adventure. Our tour guide service is dedicated to this as well.