The sandhill crane is one of nature’s oldest surviving bird species, with fossil estimates suggesting they existed about 10 million years ago. Revered in many cultures around the world, they signify a grace and primal elegance accentuated with their clarion calls and courtship dances. Come early spring, about 80 percent of all North American sandhill cranes converge on a 75-mile stretch of Nebraska’s Platte River. It is here more than 500,000 cranes tally a bit for a major stopover, fattening up on corn and grains for their northward migration. They are heading to their nesting grounds in the sub-Arctic regions of Canada, Alaska and Siberia. Some have labeled this magnificent migration one of the top 10 migrations in the natural world. Even renowned anthropologist Jane Goodall, who comes every year to the Platte, likened the event to some of the great wildlife experiences she witnessed in Tanzania. With birders, photographers, naturalists, outdoor enthusiasts and the simply curious coming from around the world to participate in this bucket-list experience, accommodations and bird blinds can be at a premium. For those who desire a more private and upscale experience, the VIP Crane Trust experience may be just right. A unique outdoor adventure, it’s the only one of its kind in the world. With a total of 10 units, the Legacy Cabins and the President’s Cabin offer an all-inclusive, VIP crane experience geared for executives, businesses, friends and families. The Legacy Cabins feature a back patio with a prairie view, while the President’s Cabin opens to a back deck overlooking a pond with both a dock and gas fire pit, ideal for extended conversation. The experience includes a wine and cheese reception with an educational orientation, an evening crane viewing in the heated VIP Pietrok Family Blind and a catered dinner with a video presentation. After a restful night’s sleep, the next morning starts before dawn with coffee and snacks as well as a morning crane viewing in the VIP blind. This is followed by hot breakfast with a 10 a.m. departure. Many VIP guests gain a completely new perspective on grasslands and the migration, as well as a new appreciation for the vital role of both wetlands and the prairie. Guests come from both U.S. coasts as well as the Midwest, and as far away as Europe. With high demand for the limited number of cabins, it’s important to book as early as possible. Reservations start in late July 2016 for the 2017 sandhill crane season. Interested parties should call Sandy Douglas at 402 651 7033 or email [email protected] to be added to a notification list. While sandhill crane viewings are seasonal, there are other VIP experiences outside March and April. Year-round Crane Trust excursions designed for small groups of four are available for prairie hikes, fat bike tours, guided photography and bird-watching safaris. During April and May, a prairie chicken quest is on the table, with kayak excursions May through October and wildflower excursions from June through August. The Crane Trust mission is “the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and other migratory birds along the Big Bend Region of the Platte River Valley.” In 2012, the Crane Trust acquired the Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center to fulfill its mission by providing a more active gateway and resource for community outreach and education. It also re-introduced plains bison to the Platte River ecosystem, with a small bison exhibition herd on the property.
9325 South Alda Road Wood River, NE 68883
Vail Resorts opted to close all 37 resorts early in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but the mountain resort operator also wanted to give back to the community in the face of this adversity. The excess perishable food from the various properties was donated to 30 local food banks, schools and community organizations in the communities where Vail Resorts employees live, work and play. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, juice, granola bars and more went to mountain communities from Colorado and Vermont to British Columbia.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
The airline industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations, route capacity reductions and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
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oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.