Sunday, March 31, 2024

Bucket List Check Off...

 This week, my husband and I were able to do something we have wanted to do for a long time.  We went to North Platte, Nebraska to see the Sandhill Crane migration.  We have always had an affinity for the cranes.  They are the harbinger of spring and the last call of fall.  Whenever we hear them, we find each other and then watch them until they circle out of sight.  Despite the fact they are always circling they are gone before you know it. 

We have always wanted to go to North Platte where they stage up before they complete their spring migration.  They fatten up in the fields along the Platte River before the final leg of their journey.  Instead of thinking someday we will go, we decided this year we will stop wishing and just go.

After a 5 hour drive to the Platte River, we didn't see a bird.  Not only that we didn't see the river.  It was surrounded by trees.  We got to town around 7 pm and I can't say how worried we were that the trip was a bust.  No birds, no river, not even a deer.  

Right inside the city are some crane viewing blinds.  We got something to eat and went to the river's edge thinking our trip was for nothing.  Were we ever wrong.  My camera didn't get a good picture of the cranes, but you can certainly hear them.

The next morning our with our spirits lifted we took a recommended drive for optimal crane viewing.  It was better than we ever expected. We were able to watch them dance and saw thousands of cranes close up. 
I am so glad we went.  It was a fantastic experience.  I don't know why we waited so long.  Not only did we see cranes, but also many different ducks and lots of wonderful farms.  

We were not aware that Buffalo Bill had a ranch in North Platte.  We didn't have enough time to explore the ranch or the state park.  I did take a photo of the house as we went by and it looked amazing. 
Something else we didn't realize is that North Platte is the hub for several rail lines.  This is the Golden Spike Tower, so you can see where the 8 tracks meet and how they check all of the cars and engines.  We aren't big train fans, so we didn't tour the rail yard and I didn't get any good train pictures. 

We only spent a day.  It was a perfect day!  Then the drive back.  There are two things you should know about Nebraska, there are lots of trains and windmills.  Also, the ranchers still use windmills to fill their water tanks.  I think that is amazing.  I had so much fun trying to get some good windmill photos. 

We don't go on vacation often.  It seems all of our trips are to see family.  I am so glad we decided to check this off of our bucket list.  Someday you will run out of tomorrows.  
We came back in a snowstorm, but hopefully the snow won't last.  It was worth because we will always remember this trip. 
We can't wait to see the cranes fly over this spring and wonder if they are ones we saw on our visit.  What is something on your bucket list?  I hope you had a wonderful Easter.


  1. A great day out. We don't have any cranes but we;ve seen them nesting in France where they build nesting platforms to deter then form nesting on chimneys

  2. Sounds like a very cool trip.

  3. Wonderful! I love those guys. We have the odd few fly over here, and they appear in the open farm fields to the south. What a thrill to see so many!

  4. sounds like a very exciting trip. It also seems like a very interesting place to vacation another time.
    We are in for 2 days of snow here I am so over the spring snows


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