The ladies didn’t come to play golf.

They didn’t come to gamble.

They came to take pictures. Pictures of an isolated place they had only seen on the Internet.

Four women, Debra Jahier, Bobbie Turner, Karen Celella and Deidre Elzer-Lento, traveled from Huntington Long Island, New York, to Mesquite primarily to visit a locally well-known rock formation called Little Finland in the Gold Butte National Monument.

Jahier said “I did some research and the girls and I decided we were going to come out west. We tried to find areas that we could have a base and then travel out from there. I looked at a couple hotels on a web site and Mesquite came up. It just looked like the perfect area. We said, let’s go. We’ve had a marvelous time.”

Upon arriving in Mesquite, they inquired about getting to Little Finland. They were put in touch with Bob Adams, president of the Kokopelli ATV Club. He rounded up several OHV owners who jumped at the chance to show off the beautiful area and to just take a ride in the desert.

After traversing Lime Kiln Canyon road and winding around to Whitney Pockets, the group traveled to Devil’s Throat, on to Little Finland and then to Kirk’s Grotto. It was a 100-mile trip over an eight-hour stretch.

“I was so surprised that there’s so much beautiful undeveloped land that’s so wide open,” Turner said. “It was wonderful to see nature at its best. I love geology so I really enjoyed seeing all the rock formations that are so unique in Little Finland. I really wanted to explore the grotto more so that may be another trip.”

Celella said she was surprised at “the help and cooperation of all the people we met. Somehow Bob was sent to us. This group came. You can’t plan for things like that. It’s an amazing thing.”

The biggest surprise for Elzer-Lento was riding in an OHV, something she had never done before. “That the trip came together so wonderfully and that I actually got in one of these Razrs was not something I was expecting. I’m the chicken of the group. I’ve never been in an OHV. What I enjoyed the most about the trip was the speed of these things. That was really fun.”

The woman who was afraid to get in an OHV was the one who loved the speed of them.

The women spent almost two hours hiking around the incredible rock formations at Little Finland. The name has nothing to do with the country but rather the thin layers of rocks jutting out called fins.

It was fun watching the camera buffs take a picture, walk a couple feet, snap another picture, walk a couple more feet and take another picture. The “oohs and aahhs” just kept coming from the group. While the hiking was easy, moving quickly was not as every twist and turn held another picture.

“Seeing the countryside from a different point of view was so fun,” Elzer-Lento said. “To see it from the back roads is to see it so differently. To see the mountains. The colors, the photography, the textures. Mother Nature has a different gallery out here than she does in New York. Wherever Mother Nature is, we want to go and see what she’s doing.”

According to all four women, “we spent the whole week saying ‘Wow.’ Every day our expectations of what we would do and see have been exceeded.”

“I wasn’t the expecting the grotto. I wasn’t expecting to meet any of you and ride in a Razr. Everyone was so accommodating. You didn’t know us from Adam. But you gave us an amazing experience,” Jahier said.

They have traveled around the world, Africa, Iceland, Europe, Ireland, mostly to take pictures. And yet, they picked Mesquite. While here they also visited Snow Canyon in Utah, St. George, Valley of Fire State Park, and Medina.

One of the biggest pleasures of their week were the people. “They were so friendly, so helpful” Celella said. “Whenever we asked, people would tell us where to go and how to get there. The people made the big difference. We have traveled the world, but we have a great appreciation for what the United States has to offer. The beauty we have is so unique.”

Perhaps one of the most unusual experiences they had was at Smith’s grocery store. After they mentioned to one of the employees that they were from New York, “We were surrounded by people who wanted to visit with us and talk to us about New York. After quite awhile we had to tell them that we needed to get going. Everyone was so friendly and just wanted to visit with us. We don’t usually have that in New York,” Celella said.

Jahier summed up their week-long visit saying, “I just enjoyed being with my group of friends and doing something we all enjoy.”