Sign ups for Iditarod open on the last Saturday of every June, when Iditarod throws a huge picnic/BBQ at headquarters. I've had the date marked on my calendar for months. Though I couldn't attend in person I wanted to sign up that day virtually, as those who sign up that day get to draw their bib #'s from the first group of numbers. Plus I wanted 'in' on the Pike Dog Wellness benefit awarded to the first 50 signups this year, which amounts to $500 of reimbursement for eligible vet care for your dogs during the time between sign up and the race. If you've read my previous blog posts you know I still needed to get my rookie reference secured but I thankfully found an Iditarod finisher who had raced against me and who I'd known for a number of years who was happy to verify me.

So after doing morning dog chores, on Saturday June 26th I sat down at my computer and started filling out and emailing forms, and paid the largest entry fee I've ever paid in my life: $4,000. Ouch!

And before the afternoon was over my name was listed on the Iditarod website as a 2022 musher!

Looking at my name up there amongst all these musher names that I'd followed and read about for years was quite a trip! I will admit: for the first week I went to the Iditarod website daily just to see my name there and grin.

I still need to pass the rookie acceptance board and supposedly it takes about 4-6 weeks to hear on that. In the meantime I'm busy doing final packing and preparation for the trip to Alaska, which we depart on in just 2 weeks.

If it wasn't feeling 'real' before, it sure is now!