In the predawn hours of an early Saturday in April, cars creep quietly along a gravel road south of the Platte River’s main channel. For the last half hour, the dark sky has nibbled away at the edge of the full moon above, the lucky occurrence of a rare lunar eclipse.

It’s possible to appreciate the Nebraska Sandhills through a car window. Until a few years ago, that was about as close as I’d been to the grass-stabilized sand dunes that cover a quarter of our state. That’s because up in ranch country, the majority of the landscape is privately owned. As much as I wanted […]