Hoping for some advice. I want to show a 7th grader some really dark night skies. Ideally I envision laying on the ground and looking up and taking it all in. He has never seen a truly dark sky. I want him to see the milky way. And see satellites moving. And then bring out my scope and maybe we see a planet. And see Andromeda.
I live in northern NJ, 12 miles from NYC. Viewing is quite bad in this suburban/Metro area. Can you recommend any specific places maybe up to an hour and a half away, that we could go to on a clear night and see a dark sky (sufficiently dark to see the Milky Way!).
Also, with the West Coast fires that mess up terrestrial viewing (even on a clear day, looking at NYC that is 12 miles away - it looks like there is a fog) are the fires messing up night sky viewing?