The flames of our last fire together

By Guy Tal

Editor’s Note: Guy Tal, graduate in Engineering, is a guest columnist to the Daily Illini. This is the eighth in a series that details his experiences during a bike expedition down the coast of California with Kamilla Gray Kinard, Ryne Leuzinger and Nora Tien.

Day 7: Breathe

Today we set off on foot to explore San Luis Obispo. We climb a local foothill to survey the city and greet the ocean some miles away.

The town of about 46,000 residents is cradled in the surrounding hills with the water at a stone’s throw. It’s got a vibrant artistic community, a nearby university, a food scene worth writing about and an active population.

I sound like a billboard ad, but this is how a town should be: small but alive, joyful, nestled in the natural world rather than crowding it out. 17-Mile-Drive should take some notes.

“A guy could get comfortable here,” I say to Kamilla, surveying the earth with my curls in the clouds, knowing the futility of trying to take it all in.

For the moment, in the moment, I breathe.

* * *

At night, at a local eatery, we huddle around a gas stove brought to our table to heat our Thai soup and reflect on the flames of our last fire together.

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