Posted July 18, 2021 – Narrated by Jim
Captain’s Log: Stardate 2021.0718 – This log entry documents the completion of our five-year mission to boldly explore where no Beaubeaux has gone before. We hope Starfleet Command will grant us a continuance so LIB (Living in Beauty) may formally begin Year Six.
Though successful beyond our wildest dreams, the assignment is not complete. We’ve yet to drop stabilizers in hundreds of parks and many places where the neutral zone remains closed as of this writing: Alaska, Baja California, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario, to name a few.
Our mission statement on this voyage has been and always shall be…
“… to explore strange old worlds, to seek out new life in old civilizations …
Forgive me if I speak too candidly, but Starfleet’s preliminary estimate failed to schedule sufficient returns to Starbase SD1 (San Diego) for holidays and repairs – and for repeated side-trips through wine and bourbon country.
Starfleet traditionally makes a show of support for these micro economies where many of Starfleet’s finest, including, Captain Picard, have found a retirement haven.
For the official record, I can affirm that Beauty and her triune of rotating captains have maintained excellent health through these adventurous five years. In fact, we feel ten years younger and ten years wiser than when the mission began. Of course we have made mistakes, but we have overcome each one with as much drama as we could possibly milk out of them.
“Our species can only survive if we have obstacles to overcome. You remove those obstacles, without them to strengthen us, we will weaken and die.”
But our most notable success is that each time we lowered our landing gear in an unknown place, we arrived as strangers and departed as friends.
“Resistance was futile”
And thus, as decorated Borg Combatants, we appeal to Starfleet to grant our request for an official prolongation of the LIB mission.
“It’s not safe out here. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it’s not for the timid.”
While we haven’t experienced a Kobayashi Maru situation where we find ourselves in a no-win scenario, we’ve had our share of challenges.
- Tire blow out ($1,500 gold pressed latinum in damage)
- Highway break-down in peak traffic without sufficient shoulder space (extremely close contact by several alien vessels known as 18-wheelers)
- Hail damage (Beauty, pronounced “totaled” by the Ferengi, we took the latinum and ran)
- Blocked black water tank (cleared it)
- Leaking fresh water tank (replaced it)
- Running dangerously low on dilithium crystals, (known to earthlings as Diesel) we coasted downhill on fumes (in Earth-speak) until we finally encountered a fuel source.
- Invaded by 1000’s of Pentatomidae belonging to the order Hemiptera, commonly known as “stink bugs” (they took 6 months to life-cycle out of our lives)
- Outran a tornado (we escaped… barely)
- Beauty and tow vehicle covered in tree sap (we cleaned it)
- Refrigerator, hot water heater and furnace failure (replaced them)
- Locked out of the Airstream (we got in)
- Locked inside the Airstream (we got out)
- Tree almost fell on the Airstream (it missed)
- Airstream rolled 50 feet down a hill (no damage)
- Captain James B. Beaubeaux, thinking he was playing the Superman program on the Hollow Deck, tried to stop the Airstream from rolling 50 feet downhill (he survived)
- Crew of three strong-minded captains commanding 180 square feet (we’ve survived and thrived)
And each captain survived red shirt incidents.
“Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
Occasionally we encounter a Wormhole that threatens to carry us out of the present and into the Fear of the Unknown. But, by putting our thrusters in reverse we carefully back out (always with the use of communicators so we do not disturb nearby vessels) and continue our journey with no apparent disruption to the space-time continuum.
A doctor once told me this about Beauty –
“Treat her like a lady and she’ll always bring you home.”
The captains all agree, Beauty has always “Brought us Home,” regardless of where she sets us down.
Regretfully, our attempt to utilize modern transporter technology for auxiliary travel proved ineffective (we waited, and waited but, dammit Jim, we went nowhere) so we settled for electric bikes.
But mere technical challenges do not discourage us as we draw energy, strength and peace of mind from the slow and steady 4-3-2 travel philosophy. Aesop’s Rule in combination with Universal Code is, ironically, the next best thing to a transporter.
I can report the captains are all in good spirits. Romulan Ale seems to have had a strange and pleasing effect on morale.
Cultures, traditions and observations
In addition to following the Prime Directive (Starfleet General Order 1), we are faithful to Starfleet General Order 13.
“Respect the territorial integrity of independent planetary systems and governments within and without the confines of the Federation’s borders.”
Our landing party has met some fascinating Tellurians in every state and province. Even with a multitude of internal tribal skirmishes over these past five years and a plague which threatened to devastate the planet, our crew has only experienced grace and generosity in every region, restoring our confidence in Homo Sapiens Sapiens ultimate desire for peace.
“Your will to survive. Your love of life, your passion to know … Everything that is truest and best in all species of beings has been revealed to you. Those are the qualities that make a civilization worthy to survive.”
Inhabiting forty-eight states and four Canadian provinces so far, even Mr. Spock has come into agreement that the human capacity for love transcends the fear of The Other. It is the unique ability of Earthlings to look past differences – such as dialects, physical features and tribal rules – to see oneself as part of the whole. That is the ascendent path.
Similarities and core goals – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – is greater than our differences.
“The prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.”
As visitors in each state, we discovered beauty in the landscapes, seascapes, small towns and great cities. Farm lands, urban skylines, cool alpine mountains, islands and parched deserts all have a unique culture, history, cuisine, color palette, and style of architecture. We remain fascinated in this ongoing experiment called The United States of America.
Here are the details and specifics of the last five years, as required by standard log book protocol.
Beauty has now traveled 8.4 x 10-9 lightyears. In lay terms, that is almost 50,000 miles, 49,173 to be exact, equaling the distance of traveling the circumference of planet Earth… TWICE. (all on impulse drive without the use of warp speed)
Had we engaged Warp Factor One, 1 times the speed of light, 49,173 miles would have taken approximately one-fourth of one-second.
But warp dreams aside, we still have a Galaxy to explore.
“When dreams become more important than reality, you give up travel… You just sit living and reliving other lives left behind”
Here is the latest animated map of Beauty’s Terra Firma travels in her first 5 years.
“Change is the essential process of all existence”
If Command Central will indulge an old captain, I shall forgo the Stardate system and utilize the ancient Gregorian calendar.
“The Past is written, but the future is left for us to write”
Now, the minutiae
While we seldom open up our log book displaying the specific details of our journey, here we break with protocol and list each destination over the past 1,826 days.
If you are still with me… congratulations. There may be a job for you in NERD (Never Enough Remote Destinations) 😊. Perhaps we should meet up and analyze some data over pints of Romulan Ale or an ice cold IPA.
Tomorrow, Stardate 2021.0719 – if Command Central signals us for clearance – will be the first day of our 6th year on this continuing mission. We eagerly await orders to “Engage” from our followers at Starfleet Command.
So, I close this official log entry with a few of my favorite quotes from fellow adventurers.
“Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.”
“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, and irrational fear of the unknown. There is no such thing as the unknown. Only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
These entries have been officially submitted for the historical record, on behalf of the three captains, by Captain James B. Beaubeaux.
Catch up with you at the nearest Star.
Regardless of what stands in the way of your happiness, don’t say “no” … make it so!
“As the loser of a game of Fizzbin, Pico was initially assigned to write this Five-year log, but he fell into a skirmish with a squirrel, left the game early, and responded to his loss by urinating on a Cardassian’s boot. Thus, the report fell to Jim because I scored a Royal Fizzbin in the dark on a Tuesday.”
If you want to see our exact route, click here.
*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.
Here are the other four blogs posts published on our full-time travel anniversaries
Facts of LIB – Published on our One Year Anniversary
Canadian LIB Moment – Published on our Two Year Anniversary
Counting Moments: 3 Years – Published on our Three Year Anniversary
Four Years and Counting – Published on our Four Year Anniversary