The quietest place in the lower forty-eight

Quiet, at least, when it comes to manmade noise. I like the quote from a neuroscientist earlier in the article: “Hearing is designed to get information from much farther away than your eyes can reach … Hearing is not something that evolved so you can talk to me. It evolved so you can learn about your world.” It tends to be best done, then, at a distance.

“Olympic National Park is the listener’s Yosemite,” Hempton said of his decision to locate his One Square Inch within the park’s forested realm. “In a single day, you can listen to an alpine environment, a wilderness beach, and a temperate rain forest. And it has the longest noise-free interval of any national park I’ve been to, and I’ve been to them all.”

Part of Olympic’s quiet stems from its location: It sits on a peninsula in a secluded corner of the country. The park is not crossed by highways, navigable rivers, or utility rights of way; and it lies west of the major cross-country plane routes. Only three commercial-airline paths encroach upon its borders. Alaska Airlines is the most active, flying overhead 37 times each day in summer, but it tries to avoid the park during routine maintenance and training flights—a concession the carrier made to Hempton after he wrote asking it to change its flight patterns.

from “The Sound of Silence,” by Virginia Morell, Conde Nast Traveler, January 2012 :: via The Browser

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