On Wednesday I was supposed to be steadily focused on getting from Anchorage up to Fairbanks — a 358-mile drive — but I kept lollygagging along Highway 3. One stop I couldn’t resist was hardly an hour north of Anchorage, at the Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla. (Yes, that would be the Wasilla of Sarah Palin fame. And no, I did not see her. Well, except for a cardboard cutout of her in the window of the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Railroad depot.) (Sidenote: Um, people here are pretty crazy serious about loving Sarah Palin. So, you know, I try not to get into a lot of political discussions, for my own safety. Everybody’s probably packin’ heat and carry-and-conceal licenses, too, so I think it’s best if I behave in a non-partisan manner.) I realize the Iditarod Headquarters isn’t a must-see for most normal people, but — we’ve been over this before, right?– I am highly vulnerable to animal tourism. Here you can cuddle darling Iditarod-bound puppies and take a $10 two-minute ride on a modified go-cart pulled by a team of dogs trained and raced (in the Iditarod!) by Raymie Redington, the son of the Iditarod’s founder, Joe Redington Sr. Despite the fact that he’s pretty much dog-sledding royalty, Raymie was approachable and incredibly down-to-earth. I wish he would have reminded me to switch my camera off manual setting or at least warned me about how quickly that dog team was going to take off. The photographic results of my technical oversight were humorous, as you can see. But I did manage to stay in the cart, which seemed equally important to getting a great action shot.