Lewis & Clark Trail, July 30 - Aug 2

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Friday, July 30, 2004

We got down from Lebanon, NH to Penllyn last night, but we had a little trouble. Urania doesn't have Pennsylvania maps. We're OK as to going down to Penllyn, because we pretty much know the route and Urania has all the major highways, but we've got to load the Lewis and Clark maps before we start on our trek westward!

We got in to Penllyn - about an hour after we said we would - and Sam Brower was there visiting Ben and Mia for the weekend. We had a super dinner of steak, corn, and Marta Falicov's green beans with onions and vinegar. Yum!

Penllyn, PA: Aron Cowen

Penllyn, PA: Sam Brauer
Friday, July 30, 2004 (Continued)
Oops. In the last leg of the trip to Penllyn, PA from Lebanon, NH, I was desperate for a bathroom break, but held it off 'til we got to Ben and Mia's. Unfortunately, now I am having some pains and diarrhea. The pains got worse through the night and woke me up several times.
Saturday, July 31, 2004

At 4am I didn't think it was worth trying to get back to sleep. After the rest of the family got up around 7am the pains became excruciating, and I asked to go to the doctor. Mia called her doctor, and after being told that I had fainted on account of the pains, he told her to drive me immediately to a nearby hospital with an emergency room - the Abbington Hospital.

They were great - saw me right away and got MRIs and X-rays right away. They thought it was appendicitis, because the pain was localized in the lower right quadrant of my torso, but it turns out that it was a kidney stone. They gave me morphine for the pain, which helped a great deal. I threw up a few times (either from the pain or the morphine or the MRI dye), and one of those times - by late afternoon I think - I must have passed the kidney stone out of the urethra… at least the pain suddenly lessened.

They insisted on admitting me to the hospital for overnight observation to make sure I was going to be OK, check for any possible inflammation, and check my urine to see if the kidney stone indeed passed. Mia was so kind, and stayed with me until I got settled, and then came back with Arthur and Aron. Aron was a bit upset to see me in that state, but we assured him that I was getting better.

And I was. At least until later that night. I was told that I shouldn't try to go to the bathroom on my own (which would be difficult in any instance since I was thoroughly hooked up to an IV which was plugged into the wall) and I really needed to go, so I pressed the call button for the nurse. She didn't come, so I waited 15 minutes, thinking she was busy, and pressed the button again. Again she didn't come. I waited 15 more minutes and pressed the button again. This happened somewhere between 3 and 5 times in all. Finally a nurse came into the room and I discovered that I hadn't been calling the nurse at all - I had been zapping myself with morphine! And because I was considerate and waited in between the zappings, I had overridden their safety feature of ignoring morphine requests within the last 10 minutes of dispensing the morphine zap! Aaarghhh! I was thoroughly sick and disoriented from the morphine that I hadn't wanted in the first place!

Sunday, Aug. 1, 2004

Ah well, I finally came down from my unintended high, and was allowed to go home today. We spent the rest of that day recuperating and packing, and decided to leave the next morning, August 2, skipping our planned visit to Monticello to see Mr. Jefferson and going straight to St. Louis. That night we had a beautiful bon-voyage cake that Mia made, and some of Sam's yummy truffles, and Aron received a super blank journal in which to write of his travels. I'm still feeling a bit woozy and I have occasional aches in my right kidney, but am otherwise ready and rarin' to go.

Penllyn, PA: Martha Luehrmann in hospital with kidney stone

Penllyn, PA: Arthur & Mia Luehrmann

Penllyn, PA: bon voyage cake

Penllyn, PA: Ben Cowen

Penllyn, PA: Mia Luehrmann

Penllyn, PA: Natan Luehrmann Cowen

Penllyn, PA: Aron Cowen
Monday, Aug. 2, 2004

We're off!! A big drive today - nine hours of driving to Covington, KY. On the way we picnicked at a service station, and very well, since the service plaza had a farmer's market attached! We had some of the best tomatoes we've had ever since we left Illinois in 1965. And we had fresh peaches, green peppers, cukes, plus our own cherries and sandwiches. A feast!

Penllyn, PA: Mia & Aron Cowen say goodbye

Penllyn, PA: Aron Cowen ready to go!
Monday, Aug. 2, 2004 (Continued)

Then on to Covington, KY. On the way we read from Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose and from The True Account: A Novel of the Lewis & Clark & Kinneson Expeditions by Howard Frank Mosher. We also played 21 questions with things we saw on the trip. Half-price dinner at the Marriott, thanks to Ben, and then to bed at the Hampton Inn.

Journal of my Lewis and Clark trip
with my Grandparents
(Tie-Dye and Bop)

Monday, August 2nd, 2004 (Day 1)
Dear Journal,
Today I said goodbyes to my parents, brother, guinea-pigs, and fish and began to drive. And drive. And drive. The trip took 9 hours! We passed the time watching cartoons, reading to each other, talking about my future inventions, resting, and playing the “21 questions” game. When we got to the hotel, we brought in our stuff, brushed our teath, and went to sleep at 10:00pm.

from Covington, KY: the Ohio River
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