I never understood why people would want to back pack in the dessert: no trees, no moss, no ferns, no green, no streams or water. I live in the east and I guess that's just what I know.
Last fall, though, I made trips into southern Utah and Death Valley. Now I get it. Its hard for me to say why but there is something special about the desert. I think the openness makes you feel even more alone than in a closed in forest.
For me, though, its a special trip. We have none close at all. I do enjoy the reports you all post, though.