During the six day classes I would stay with a host family and never quite knew what to expect. I spent one week with a family of Creationists in Arkansas who believed (among other things) that the Grand Canyon was the result of a rainy weekend. When I mentioned that my daughter was a geologist there was an awkward pause. I suffered mainly from the lack of coffee--all stimulants being banned-- but they were good people, kind, generous and we built a beautiful boat which we launched on the sluggish Mississippi River.
I did another class in Fairfield, northern Alberta I had never been so far north before and it being June it never seemed to get dark.The town had been built on the expectation that it would be a stop on the trans-Canada railroad which was then being built. However the tracks were finally laid 25 miles to the south so rather than become a ghost town the entire village (except the graveyard) was dismantled and moved to the new location.
Since.I had the loan of a car I spent the long summer evenings exploring the countryside--there was a choice of only four directions so I usually went north. One little village had an odd name: Correction. I thought it might be some forgotten penal colony so took a few photos and then stopped at the general store.It turned out that the original survey team had ignored the lines of longitude that inevitably taper towards the North and South Poles. It was easier for the surveyors to make a right angle jog in the road when the discrepancy got too great. As I was chatting with the scorekeeper a little boy came in and asked diffidently:: “Excuse me mister, but are you a tourist?” He’d heard of them.
When launching day came I noticed that the river seemed to be running the wrong way, wrong to my North American prejudices. It only occurred to me later that it was headed for the Artic Ocean.