The San Juan Island’s of Washington, known for breathtaking beaches, abundant wildlife, perfect sunsets, and for the summer, a weird cyclist named Dylan.
If you didn't know, I will be living in Washington until late August. I have been in the San Juans for a over three weeks now and I am in love with the place! For the spring season, I am currently working as an outdoor environmental educator at YMCA Camp Orkila on Orcas Island. Soon, be transitioning over to an Assistant Director position for the Teen Expedition Program. I know what you’re thinking; “But Dylan, what does your job and location have to do with your Triple Crown prep? How does teaching kids about plankton lower your resting heart rate? Well, thanks for asking those questions generous reader! Allow me to anwer...
The Triple Crown is my main focus over the next year but that doesn't mean the rest of my life is being ignored or set aside. I have one semester left before I complete my Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management so when the opportunity to come work at Camp Orkila presented itself you know damn well I took it! The way I view it, I can ride my bike and train anywhere but the opportunity to work at one of the most respected YMCA camps in the states only comes around once in a while.
That's how I find myself writing this blog at a camp in the San Juan Islands. The training potential of this island, Orcas Island, is far better than I thought it would be. There are rolling hills, several climbs that give you around 2,500 feet of vertical gain, a large network of trails for running and hiking, AND some of the friendliest drivers I have ever encountered. I have gone on a ride nearly every day and I have yet to have an angry driver.
When I can't get out on the road, I have a trainer set up on the porch of my little cabin to ride, so there are no excuses! Additionally, I can tell you from my years of working at summer camps that the non stop moving and activities of camp is an all day work out in itself!
I will return back to Marquette in August and will wrap up my last semester at Northern Michigan University. Some bikepacking trips in New Mexico will follow, and then training and working in Marquette right up until the Arizona Trail race in April 2019!
Now please enjoy these breathtaking photos of Orcas Island!