When John Baker won the 2011 Iditarod with a record shattering performance, it’s safe to say he wasn’t enjoying the comforts awarded to visitors to the Alaska Native Heritage Center who hop on a “sled” for some dog mushing action. Baker’s “Team Baker Tours” are offering these rides as part of the Qipmigaq (Inupiaq for “traveling with dogs”) attraction, a “tour of dog mushing past and present,” as the Anchorage Daily News put it.
Unlike the sled Baker used during his 2011 Iditarod race, the one used for Qipmigaq is a large cart fitted with two cushioned bench seats capable of holding a family of six. The wheels? Four 15-inch Firestone radials.
This event is meant to give visitors a taste of what it’s like to be pulled by a team of dogs, although it’s a safe bet this is a touch more cozy then what mushers in the Iditarod deal with. The 2011 Iditarod is being played on a loop in a steel pole and fabric tent at the Heritage Center. Baker’s trophies, historic and modern mushing gear, and an ancient 17-foot wooden freight sled and a modern, aluminum, plastic and carbon fiber racing model are on display.
The Qipmigaq event will run through labor day. For ticketing information, please visit their website here.