Except for a short trip to Palm Springs and around, I had never been in the middle of a desert before going to Death Valley. After driving for hours we entered the Valley at night, around midnight I think. It was so dark, we were just sliding endlessly, seeing another car form time to time, glimpses of light, and emptiness again. At some point, wondering how many miles away the hotel was, we stopped the car on the side of the road to breathe. No moon, no stars in the sky; no wind. The air was trembling (or was it me?), and if you looked past the car and into the desert, all there was was darkness. And then the silence. I had never experienced a silence of such quality; trying to listen to something made me feel like I was a ghost, out of the world, unable to come back. I played and rested in it for a few minutes; then I got scared and quickly got back in the car. The next day we woke up early to watch the cold desert at dawn.