Our View: Your bucket list for the E.V. - East Valley Tribune: Our View

Our View: Your bucket list for the E.V.

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Posted: Sunday, June 5, 2011 4:30 am

We were looking at Sunday's issue of Parade in the Tribune, which shows late night favorite Jimmy Fallon, dressed like Elvis, riding a motorcycle.

Why? The image illustrates Fallon's bucket list, which includes riding a motorcycle on Route 66 as well as things like learning to tap dance, visiting Graceland, "singing with David Bowie on Richard Branson's spaceship," and becoming a dad.

OK, to each his own, but it did get us thinking. What types of things, in and around the East Valley, should be on everyone's bucket list? What sights, sounds and experiences are musts if you live in the area?

This list is by no means complete, but if you haven't experienced at least some of these, well, you need to start filling that bucket!

• Ride a wave at Big Surf just once. OK, maybe twice.

• Write a gratitude letter to a teacher who made a difference.

• Go horseback riding on South Mountain. If four-legged creatures aren't your thing, go on a hike or even drive to Dobbins Point, at 2,300-plus feet, for a fantastic view of the Valley.

• Embrace your inner cowboy(girl) at Rawhide Wild West Town near Chandler, or pull up your saddle for a meal at the rustic San Tan Flat Saloon in Queen Creek.

• Take a balloon ride.

• Grab a burger at the Chuckbox near ASU.

• Check out Marley Farms, owned by Shea and Jessica Hillenbrand, who rescue neglected animals. At the petting zoo you'll find such creatures as camels, llamas, goats, tortoises and kangaroos.

• Peak inside Evermore Nevermore in Mesa. You never know what you'll find.

• Send a care package to a service member.

• Visit Gilbert's Hale Centre Theatre, which has been around since 1947 and is known as the longest continuously running theatre company in the United States.

• Take a tour of Schnepf Farms and visit their peach orchards, gardens, petting zoo, carousel, restaurant and country store.

• Attend a religious service of a faith different from your own.

• Visit the Rose Garden at Mesa Community College, the largest public rose garden (3 acres, 7,000 rose bushes) in the Southwest.

• Have lunch at The Farm at South Mountain.

• Take in a Chicago Cubs spring training game from the lawn seats.

• See the 3,000-item collection at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery of Western American and Native American Art at Bashas' headquarters in Chandler.

• Climb Tempe Butte and catch a glimpse of Tempe Town Lake, lizards, cacti, a petroglyph or two, and other hikers. Also keep an eye out for any University of Arizona Wildcats acting suspicious around the big A.

• Hike the Superstition Mountains and pretend to look for the Lost Dutchman's mine, or at least read about this ol' tale from Arizona's past.

• Gaze at Camelback Mountain during a sunset or view a sunset from Hole in the Rock near the Phoenix Zoo.

• Beyond the East Valley, if you haven't seen the Grand Canyon, shame on you. But there are plenty of other amazing places in Arizona - Oak Creek, Kartchner Caverns State Park, the Payson rim country, Meteor Crater, Lowell Observatory, Apache Trail, the old copper town of Jerome, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Salt River, Canyon de Chelly, etc. - that are great weekend getaways or day trips.

But get moving. That bucket is not going to fill up all by itself.

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