Say hello to Samantha, one of our seasonal employees working as a gate attendant at the Rifle Gap visitor's center and the Rifle Falls entrance station. This is Samantha's first summer at Rifle Gap. She decided to work here because she is close to home. Although Samantha calls Rifle her home now, she came here from Warwick, N.Y., to attend school at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs. She is a junior in college, majoring in veterinarian technology.Samantha told me, "The best part of the job is meeting all the different people who come to go camping or see Rifle Falls. I love meeting and talking with people."Samantha would recommend the park visitor try geocaching, which she describes as "treasure hunting to the extreme. You have to have a GPS to be able to find the places, but it is very fun to find the caches and see what is inside them and how hidden they can be." Snakes in a parkHave you ever wondered about snakes but were afraid to ask? This weekend is your chance to bring a picnic lunch or supper and come out to Rifle Gap State Park Complex for "Snakes Alive!"Join our special guest, Eagle Scout Greg Rohr from Boy Scout Troop 342 in Lakewood, as he discusses the natural habitats of some of our snakes that are native to Colorado. And, for those who are daring, Greg may have live snakes to hold or at least touch. Greg, a Class of 2012 graduate of Green Mountain High School in Lakewood, has worked with snakes since he was in fourth grade. He will be a freshman at the University of Wyoming this fall and is planning to earn a bachelor's degree in zoology.I asked Greg, "Why snakes?" and he told me he loves all animals, but he thinks snakes are very interesting - and often misunderstood - creatures. Mark your calendarsIf you missed Rifle Gap's June 9 star party, "Meet Me On The Dark Side of the Moon," the Western Colorado Astronomy Club from Grand Junction will return to Rifle Gap State Park for an encore appearance on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 8:30 p.m. The August night sky should be perfect for stargazing.Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls and Harvey Gap are managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, created with the merger of Colorado State Parks and Division of Wildlife. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. For more, go online to www.parks.state.co.us and http://wildlife.state.co.us.Terry Wise is the summer season park naturalist and volunteer coordinator for the Rifle Gap State Park Complex. Reach her at 625-1607.
Learn about snakes and look at stars at Rifle Gap
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