One of the quietest places in the United States is a single square inch in Washington.
Hempton travelled extensively recording and preserving the rapidly disappearing wild soundscapes across the United States. The project led to the designation of one square inch of silence in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park in north Washington state—one of the quietest places in the US. Hempton’s work has done much to raise global awareness of the perils of sound pollution.
Some days, Hempton finds the time to drive to the park and hike down the Hoh River Trail to the spot where a stone on a log still marks the one square inch he designated 14 years ago. During jet-free intervals, he listens to tree frogs croak and water droplets plop on the mossy forest floor. “For those who think of the environment and worry that the planet is coming to an end,” he says, “quiet is the total antidote. You come out with renewed hope.”