The first morning I felt surprisingly calm, I was excited of course, but very little in terms of anxiety about the upcoming climb. We got ready, showered, attempting to be as clean as possible before 5 full days of being gross, and waited to be picked up. When we got to the gate (Machame route) it was full of tourists, not surprising, but haven’t seen that many white people in one place in quite a while. It was pretty funny watching all the locals selling them kili hats, shirts, water bottles, etc at about three times what they should be paying. It’s funny how easily you get used to bargaining after living here for only a few months. The first few miles were easy, uphill rescue road type trail, all of us in good spirits. We stopped for lunch at an outcropping in the forest, which looked like it could easily be in the Pacific Northwest. After lunch we started the harder climb where we actually started to gain altitude. I felt really good so went ahead with one of the guides while Genny, Julien , and Winn stayed back at a slower pace. After about four hours of hiking we hit our first camp (Machame Hut-3,000 Meters). Throughout the day it was pretty hot so just hiking in a tee-shirt, but once the sun went down it got really cold really quickly. Our tents luckily stayed fairly warm, and they provided constant hot water for tea. The food was surprisingly good, probably better than at CCS, which is confusing since it’s on a mountain… But the hot soup was incredible, maybe we were just tired. Overall, the first day was an easy 6 hour intro.