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Outdoor activities center on the large pool, while indoor options feature a clubhouse with billiards and darts as well as the weekend-only Bare Buns Café, serving snacks and coffee drinks. Tuesday nights are potlucks, and there's always a rockin' Saturday-night dance shindig celebrating holidays such as Earth Day or themed events like the Bunny Hop, in which you can actually wear something like rabbit ears or an Easter bonnet to the dance. The curious can download a one-time-only guest pass online, while mainstayers can take advantage of the lifetime membership.
Oh, okay, she jumped all over you for this sudden and unquenchable need to be a potential organ donor. But a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do, right? Yeah, baby!
And what a route you found, one that scoots you, in almost no time, far from the maddening crowds of our metropolis. Here's how it goes: From central Phoenix, get up to the 101 East, either from Interstate 17 or 51 North. Exit at the Princess/Pima Road offramp and follow the signs from Pima Road North to the lake. The views of the mountains and desert are as good as it gets around here, and the traffic, thankfully, is usually sparse. By the time you're halfway there, the city seems far, far away. Stick on your helmet (please!), watch out for the lame-brains driving all around you, and get your motor running.
From Scottsdale Road, head north. Don't take the freeway. If you must, cut over to Hayden to avoid mid-Scottsdale traffic, then dip back to Scottsdale Road and head up to Carefree. In those parts, Scottsdale Road turns into Tom Darlington (not the only cute name in the town check out some of the other street signs, but only if you're a passenger; we're not trying to get anyone killed here) and you'll turn left (west) on Cave Creek Road from Darlington. That takes you through the picturesque home of some pretty good junk shops, as well as the Satisfied Frog brew pub and a number of biker bars (again, we're not telling you to get a beer; just sharing the info) and then, outside that town, you'll hit a nice expanse of desert.
Keep driving and, eventually, you'll hit the outskirts of Sunnyslope, then central Phoenix, when Cave Creek runs right into Seventh Street. It's a half-loop you don't hear much about in these days of new freeways, and it might not be the quickest way to get to your destination (and maybe not the best bet if you actually have a destination in mind) but it'll show you a part of the city we bet you haven't seen.
The peak of the mountain (yes, the one with the big "S" on it) is only 2,104 feet, but what makes this view so great is that you don't have to do a bunch of climbing or hiking to see it. You can just drive your car up the paved road into the park, and voilà! There's your scenic view. Visitors can sit on stone benches and soak in a sunset while marveling at our city's sprawl (on a clear day, you can't see forever, but you can see downtown) and relaxing amidst the park's major plant species (which include bursage, palo verde trees, and more than 10 varieties of cacti).
The only drawback is that it's safer to visit this area during daylight; while the city lights are superbly striking from the mountaintop, the park does get its share of shady nighttime squatters and accompanying problems. This is a great place to bring a date for a picnic on an overcast day, but you should probably go elsewhere for a late-night make-out session.