Seats on Iditarod sleds are open for bidding

Anyone who ever dreamed of hopping into their favorite musher's sled at the start of the Iditarod can start bidding in the Idita-rider musher auction at

The highest bid buys a seat in a musher's sled for the first 11 miles of the 40th Iditarod in early March. Minimum bids start at $500, and a sled can be guaranteed for $7,500 using the website's "buy now" feature. The auction closes Jan. 20.

Also up for auction -- or available to purchase for $25,000 -- is a package that includes the bidder's sled of choice and a flight to and overnight stay at Rainy Pass Lodge, where the Idita-rider will get to welcome and sign in the race leaders. The buyer will also cut the ribbon at the starting line in Anchorage and have their picture taken with the entire field of Iditarod mushers. Only one package will be sold.