Crane viewing: witness the world's largest concentration of sandhill cranes from the banks of the Platte River in south-central Nebraska. Every year during March and early April over 500,000 sandhill cranes along with hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese converge on the Platte River Valley. There will be several opportunities to view the cranes including both indoor viewing and outdoor viewing. You'll meet experienced staff guides at Audubon's Rowe Sanctuary, the Nebraska Nature Center, and Fort Kearny Historical State Park during this tour. Each of these sites are located right in the heart of this magnificent sandhill crane staging area where the birds can be viewed in huge gatherings on their roosts. We've arranged for you to view them at this ideal time during the early evening. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars to capture excellent views of the river and wildlife! This thrilling day begins with a breakfast snack. Your first stop is the Nebraska Nature Center which provides a place where you can connect to nature along the Platte River. The spacious interpretive center offers exhibits on cranes, waterfowl, and endangered species. The center also includes the Crimson Crown Gift Shop and an art gallery highlighting Nebraska's top photographic artist. There's a 35-foot observation tower that offers a commanding view of the valley and the nearby herd of bison. Enjoy lunch on your own at the Alley Rose, known as one of Kearney's favorites. In the afternoon visit the Museum of Nebraska Arts (MONA), home to the state's only collection of art created solely by Nebraskans. Afterwards you will tour Fort Kearny. A park ranger will greet you and give a short presentation. The fort includes a blacksmith-carpenter shop, powder magazine, and split stockade. Cranes are usually present during the day in the surrounding fields to the park. Next, tour Kearney's newest attraction, the Classic Car Collection, housed in a 50,000 sq. ft. space. It's the best public car attraction between Chicago and Denver presenting more than 130 vintage autos from the early 1900's to the 1980's. It includes video and multi-media displays throughout. Then we'll make a quick stop for dinner at a fast food restaurant before we travel to Rowe Sanctuary & Iain Nicolson Audubon Center for the evening viewing of the Sandhill cranes. The Iain Nicolson Audubon Center has interpretive displays, a gift shop. The Center's large windows and viewing hall offer a clear view of the Platte River. More than 80 percent of the world's population of sandhill cranes pass converge on the Platte valley. Cost paid to Metro is for bus transportation, MONA tour and Fort Kearny park fee only. Bring $20 in exact change for the breakfast snack, Rowe Sanctuary & Iain Nicolson Audubon Center fee, and the Classic Car Collection admission which will be collected as you board the bus. Meals and shopping are not included. Our deluxe motor coach departs promptly at 8:00AM from Metro's Sarpy Center, 9110 Giles Road (please park and meet the bus at the northeast parking lot). Return is approximately 11:00PM. *Sorry no discount. Refunds will not be allowed within 7 days of the trip. Trip leader: Kevin Kowskie.