there are many areas of the desert that are unpopulated. Where I live I cannot see another house for miles--my closest neighbor lives on the horizon about 6 miles away.
I had to dig my water lines, install my elec system, figure out how to keep snakes out of the backyard. I planted 7 trees because more than that would use too much water.
The silence, the constantly changing weather, the migratory birds, The cold in the winter, the HEAT in the summer. Dirt roads, lizards, ant hills, cactus flowers, jackrabbits, coyotes, foxes..tortoises! Abandoned homesites, old trash piles, desert playas, desert candle, brittlebush, Joshua trees, hawks--I once saw a hawk ascending 300 feet on a thermal--with a snake dangling in its beak!
As a visitor from the forest noted--in the desert you can see from horizon to horizon. You notice the changing positions of where the sun and moon rise and set.
The smell of creosote after a rain. Sitting inside near a warm fire watching through the window as freezing winds whip the desert foliage like waves on the ocean.