Light and noise pollution are all around us, even when we don’t realize it. But there are places to escape them.

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Nearly anywhere you go in the world today, light and noise are subtly, irrevocably, and persistently limiting your experience of the world around you.

Light pollution is there even when you don’t realize it. You walk outside, gaze at the stars, and it feels like you’ve seen their beauty and clarity.

Until you go someplace with less than 1 percent light pollution, like Okanogan County.

In Okanogan County, even just a little ways outside of the few towns, when you look up at the sky it’s like some fool threw bag after bag of precious diamonds and emeralds carelessly out the window and they ended up spread across the darkest black velvet that you could imagine. The Milky Way, the Pleiades – all seven of them! – the light of stars you never knew existed — flare up in the darkness of skies so vast your soul expands with each breath.

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A little dramatic? Well, yes… it might seem that way until you step out underneath an Okanogan Country sky, where most of the county’s 5300 square miles are virtually untouched by light pollution.

One great spot for an unfettered view of the night sky is Eden Valley Guest Ranch, with high visibility and the perfect place to snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and see the Milky Way, catch a meteor shower or maybe even some brilliant Northern Lights.

And what about noise pollution? It’s everywhere right? Inescapable… The leaf blower down the street, the planes overhead, the distant rumbling of the freeway in the distance.

In fact you probably don’t even realize you are hearing it. Until you go somewhere like Sun Mountain Lodge, for example, in the Methow of Okanogan Country. It’s a particularly good example because most of the lodge does not have televisions. You get checked in, you gratefully put down your bags and get a drink of water, and all of a sudden you feel …. strange. Uneasy.

You aren’t sure what’s going on but something utterly unfamiliar is happening around you. You walk out onto your balcony, your vision fills with the expanse of the snow-capped mountains of the North Cascades, and you realize all you hear is… silence. Which oddly sounds a lot like your heart beating and your blood pumping and the occasional bird singing around you. And that’s when you realize just how noisy your life has become, and just how profoundly quiet deep, deep silence can be.

Welcome to Okanogan Country. Deep quiet and dark skies… waiting just for you.

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