"Rising to unimaginable heights" doesn't just describe summer's sweat-extracting temperatures. Mere mortals have the opportunity to make like degrees Fahrenheit -- and rise -- thanks to the certified pilots at Gila Air, who offer introductory flights and lessons to anybody interested in putting 1,000 feet between themselves and the earth. The machines make the experience like none other in Arizona, since this Gila Bend-based facility is the only place in the state where folks can waltz with the wind in Sabre Trikes -- ultra-light aircraft that operate more as gliders than planes. At 330 pounds, the Trikes float off the runway after hitting 30 mph. These open-air fliers provide an intimate and affordable alternative to similar aerial venues involving noisy helicopters or airplanes. Sessions are offered at dusk and dawn, when it's cool, and start at $25. For reservations and directions, see www.gilaair.com. - Jonathan Winters
Shine like it does
An above-ground mining hike
Assay a gem of a summer hike at Cave Creek Regional Park this Friday, July 30. Meet with a ranger at 7:30 a.m. at the Slate Trailhead for a two-mile round-trip foray up an old mining road. Prospects are excellent for seeing old copper deposits rich with chrysocolla, blue-green pools of stone that are God's consolation prize for our pittance of annual rainfall. To reach this jewel of a park, take Carefree Highway to 32nd Street and head north for a mile and a half, where you'll plunk down the $5 entry fee. Visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/cave_creek. -- Kim Toms
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Take Your Cue
Shooting pool just feels cool. Maybe it's the seediness of it all that makes us feel deliciously dirty, or maybe we have a big stick complex. On Saturday, July 31, give your inner pool shark a treat and head to the Celebrity Nine Ball pool tournament at The Sets, 93 East Southern in Tempe. For $300, hustlers with generous hearts (and paychecks) can sign up to rack the balls right next to baseball greats Gary Bell and Bobby Grich. The rest of the public can enjoy a rack of curvier dimensions -- Baywatch babe Gena Lee Nolin hosts a live auction; $150 buys admission to the event, dinner and a chance to watch her knock some balls around. Proceeds benefit the ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) Association. The tournament begins at 11 a.m. Call 480-608-3888. -- Megan Irwin