It's 4:30 am, Orion is raging and I can't sleep. It's not a bad can't sleep. In fact, it's been this way my whole life. You see tomorrow, or today, a group of friends, my wife and – bless the world – myself are going to get up early and skin up a mountain and ski down the best snow around. I'm an imperfect human, but I have been graced with one trait I wouldn't trade for the world: passion. It's the same passion that got me to haul my bike up Greys Peak at 2:30 am for so many years, the same passion that made that whole posse of pilots and the woods they/we worshipped in my life, the same passion that led to the events of 2008 and 2009 and the same passion that has inspired the skiing blitz that has gone on for five years running now. It's a passion for early – nauseatingly early mornings – winds, cold…nature at it's rawest. I feel like I'm still searching for that perfect sunrise, the perfect line, the perfect glimpse of the wild.

It's a good day. Yesterday I found out that the chapter of my life – let's just call it chaos 2009 – in every which way, officially, ended. There are no remnants in that regard. Of course, the remnants in my mind and soul will likely never go away. And it seems some folks like to hold onto grudges, but I'm beyond over them. Their loss and with the shaving of them from my world comes absolute freedom. Indeed – to quote Braveheart – they almost took my life, but they never got anywhere close to taking my freedom.

Happiness. What a tough road to get it. And I've got it. Love. Great family. A body that allows me to climb mountains. A mind that is a little wiser, but a soul that hasn't lost an ounce of passion. And an adventure on the horizon that is beyond anything I've done before, with a partner who is inspiring more than ever. Thank you Elaine – you rock my world.

Time to fry up some bacon for breakfast. That's in honor of you too DK, one of the very few who didn't kick me when I was down, and who I am infinitely thankful to. I'll be on that bike regularly someday again, in those woods linking up magic, but right now I've just got some other things that are stoking the fire hot.

Slow down with age? Fuck that. Speed up I say.

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