Well, I was poking around
Wasilla today and ended up stumbling into Iditarod Headquarters.
Low and behold, it was the opening day of sign up for the '08
Iditarod. I signed what I thought was an autograph and next
thing I knew I was signed up for the Race!!!
Okay, that isn't quite how it happened - in fact, nothing like
how it happened. To be perfectly honest, the decision to run the
2008 Iditarod was made in Grayling before my name was ever
signed on the paperwork to scratch from the 2007 Race. I always
knew that the team and I owed Snickers a trip to Nome. I wasn't
ready to do it for her in the days following her death last
year, so there was no doubt that it was to be this year.
When I got back off the trail last year, one of the first calls
I received was from my friend and mentor, Jamie Nelson. Jamie
doesn't often scratch from races - doesn't really believe in it
and I knew she was going to call me to task for not taking the
team to Nome despite what happened in Grayling. "Your going to
give me heck for scratching, aren't you?", I said. "I'm going to
tell you what Snickers would have wanted." - was her reply. "No"
I answered, "I'll tell you. She would have wanted me to take the
team to Nome in a matter and style that would make her proud -
and we couldn't do that this year. So we will be back next year
to honor her." There was silence for a minute and then she said,
"That's a good plan."
I never said anything earlier because I wanted to make sure that
after everything settled down I still felt the same way - I do.
When I filled out my 2008 Iditarod entry form there is a big
spot to write a bit about yourself, your dogs, why you are
running the race, etc. There are only two words on my form this
year - "For Snickers".
So here we come 2008 Iditarod. This one is for Snickers.