Some of you may have already met Liz Moran at Rifle Falls State Park. Liz is one of our gate attendants who greet people as they visit Rifle Falls. Her job entails selling day passes, campsites and annual passes and answering questions about the falls and the area. Liz has worked for the Rifle Gap State Park Complex for the past two summers. Liz is from Phoenix, Ariz., and lives in Parachute. Liz loves the area and meeting people. She loves the views from her gate window and she loves just being outside. Liz added, "The people who visit Rifle Falls are wonderful." The best part of Liz's job is the children. Liz tells me she absolutely loves talking to the children, finding out what they saw on their hikes, how amazed they were by the falls and how they love watching the fish in the water. Liz loves hearing from the adults, too. They come to tell her how beautiful the falls are. Liz's most heartwarming story is about a park visitor who was not pleased about paying the park entrance fee. The visitor decided to visit and paid the fee. They stayed for about an hour. At the end of their visit, they came to tell Liz the entrance fee was worth the money. They said the falls were more beautiful than Hawaii.Meet Nicole Roberts, the daughter part of this team. Nicole is an aquatic nuisance species inspector for Rifle Gap and Harvey Gap. Nicole's duties include making sure all vessels are cleaned, drained and dry before the vessel is launched. She also tells me her job includes lots of smiles, fish talk and educating the park visitor. This is Nicole's second season at Rifle Gap. Nicole grew up in Rifle, where she still lives. Rifle Gap and Rifle Falls have always been her favorite. She loves working outside, and it is just a bonus being able to work somewhere that has so many great family memories. Nicole says the best part of her job is looking out across the lake at sunset. There are so many colors. And she loves working with the rest of the crew. It's like hanging out with your friends and family. (Remember, her mom works here.)Nicole looks forward to maybe seeing a moose swim across Harvey Gap or wade in at Rifle Gap. Nicole recommends gloves be part of the tackle box and worn when trying to catch a big pike. One fisherman ended up with eight stitches because he wasn't wearing any. Nicole also says Harvey Gap is peaceful most of the time, but watch the afternoon winds, they can get harsh. Harvey Gap is different than Rifle Gap, with different fish, she added. Nicole recommends visiting the falls and the cascades, right above Rifle Falls. You never know what you will run across. Nicole remembers watching a doe play with her fawn next to the creek at the falls one day. When the doe caught Nicole's scent, she did not run off. They just kept playing. If you want to play on your boat, Rifle Gap is the place for families to play, Nicole said. There is an island that's perfect for a break from skiing, and you can have a picnic. Come on out and meet Liz and Nicole, a dynamic mother/daughter team, at Rifle Gap State Park Complex.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.
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