Xscapers Convergence and Taos Takeover
Taos, New Mexico was the setting for our first Xscaper Convergence. We had heard how much fun these meetups are, we just had no idea how much fun. So many likeminded, friendly people in one place makes for a fantastic time.
What is an Xscaper?
We have been members of Escapees RV Club since December. It is a great organization that provides many benefits for full-timers such as discounted camping rates, mail service, and RV advocacy.
We had not used our membership yet because we hadn’t traveled near any of the campgrounds and my family checks our mail.
While we were in Beaver our neighbor had talked about the annual bash and convergences they have. He also told us about Xscapers, a group within Escapees geared toward full-timers working from the road.
We researched it a little more and saw they had a convergence in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Well, Here Goes Nothing
At the time we were in Salt Lake City (Blog Soon to be here) headed towards Seattle. Tickets for the convergence went on sale, we looked at each other, and said, “What do we have to lose?” Our blog was new and we were considering how to make it full time. Meeting with like-minded, successful full-timers seemed like a no brainer to us.
Our First Convergence
We pulled into Hotel Luna Mystica in Taos excited to meet people and a little nervous that we might have set our expectations too high, amazing how wrong we were. JP and Elena’s friendly faces greeted us and they directed us to our parking area.
We ended up parking near others who were also at their first convergence. We quickly got to chatting and found that we are in all different parts of our RVing journey; some are full time, some are part-time, some are just starting out. But we all are excited to have the freedom that RVing provides us.
After getting set up, we all timidly ventured down to the kiva with potluck snacks and a cold beer in hand. We set our stuff down and sat in the corner, as you do when you’re the new kid in town. Well, that didn’t last long. Everybody was so friendly! When finding out this was our first convergence, people immediately introduced us to their friends and quickly we were part of the group.
I don’t remember a time in my adult life that I have been so quickly accepted by a group of people. It was amazing. And Lance, who usually hates people, lost his voice from talking so much that first night! I figured, as what happens in new social situations, we would get the obligatory newbie welcome and people would go back their cliques. Nope, not here. This truly is a community that welcomed us in with open arms.
Commonalities > Differences
What impressed me most about these people is that they all work a variety of online jobs, have been living on the road full time for any length of time from just started to years and the varied backgrounds.
Normally, a diverse group of people focuses on their differences. Again, nope, not here. The commonality of full time RVing adventure was stronger than the differences. Everybody wants to learn, share and laugh about the mistakes we have all made.
I made a joke about how close partners become living in an RV and these people understand. Outside the RV world, not everybody understands the necessity of discussing how to use Poopourri, the intimacy that comes from living with particle board walls, and how it’s not always sunshine and roses living on the road.
Hotel Luna Mystica
In Taos, we dry camped at Hotel Luna Mystica. They have trailers that can be rented as well as the Starlight Campground which lived up to its name. We had been in cities and crummy weather for the past month and had forgotten how amazing the New Mexico skies are at night.
Credit to Brandon of Drive Dive Devour for capturing this.
Credit to Corey of Go that Road
After the first night festivities that ran well into the wee hours of the morning, we caffeinated and hydrated before heading up to Taos Pueblo.
According to their website, “the main part of the present buildings were most likely constructed between 1000 and 1450 A.D.” and are the “oldest continuously inhabited communities in the USA.”
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and eager to share his community with us. He taught us about the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and how all of the pueblos had a knotted rope. Each day they would untie a knot and on the day of the final knot untying, they would all revolt. This led to the only successful documented Native American uprising.
As soon as we got there, I saw many signs of fry bread. I have been raving about this to Lance for months and he finally got to indulge in cinnamon sugar topped fry bread. Luckily, for me, it lived up to the hype.
A New Way to Make Friends
One of the fun things about this convergence is that before going off on a planned adventure, we all line up in our cars and if there is an open spot, you leave the door open. This leads to many opportunities to get to know new people. This adventure was no different.
We had another newbie with us and got to visit with him throughout the pueblo and over lunch. Many of us convened upon the same restaurant and if there was an open seat, it was quickly filled by a fellow convergence attendee. Another opportunity to meet new people.
We skipped out on the planned hike to the Rio Grande bridge. Late night the night before, lots of walking around the pueblo, and the elevation were getting to us. We opted for a nap before the second night of festivities.
However, those who did go on the hike saw bighorn sheep and highly recommended we go down and check it out. We never did make it out of the camp; there was always somebody new to make friends with.
The second night of festivities was in preparation for the Xscapers Olympics. All of them required at least a partner and sometimes required you to pair up with another group.
I’m not usually one for games, but unbeknownst to me, I paired myself with a super competitive person. I am glad I did.
Team Hitch Bitch won four out of the five games and introduced me to another fun person. Seriously, where do they find all of these great people?
Those who didn’t tie one on Friday made up for it Saturday night. So, everybody was slow moving on Sunday morning. We took the dog for a walk and groups of people had started to converge outside with their morning coffee.
Poor Z didn’t make it far into his walk before we were welcomed into yet another group of people. Z quickly forgave us because if we were meeting new people, he was also being pet by new people.
On Friday night, a very bubbly woman asked me what kind of music I liked and what my favorite song was. I proudly told her that although it has been voted MANY times as the worst song ever written, “We Build This City” was my favorite. She said that she was in the band playing music for Sunday afternoon and they’d look into the song.
Given its horrendous reputation, it didn’t think much about it. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t hear, “Say you don’t know me or recognize my face” come out of her mouth! If you ever get the chance to see The Status Crowes, TAKE IT! Be sure to check out dates near you here.
We have developed a little system of vetting new people: Cards Against Humanity. If you don’t already own it, get it here. We have found that we can quickly find others with our sick sense of humor with this little tool. And for the first time ever, everybody passed the test. We have truly found our people.
If you haven’t played the game before, one player puts down a black card that has a question or a fill in the blank. The rest of the players put down a white card that has a subject on it.
The player of the black card picks their favorite white card and the person who put down the white card wins that round. The goal is to collect as many black cards as possible. However, the white cards are very raunchy so this quickly becomes an adult game.
Without going into detail, we learned more about our new friends than we ever intended and somebody came out of this with a nickname.
This is the first convergence that has taken place in two locations. On Monday we all headed down to Santa Fe for the second portion of this adventure. We dumped our tanks at the Speedway gas station in town and rolled down to Santa Fe in a convoy.
More Memories to Make
One of my favorite parts of this event is the message board that we are all on. If anybody has something to offer, somebody is going out to eat, or if somebody has a question, it’s posted and the group responds. Like with caravanning to different attractions, this has offered other opportunities to sit and eat with new people.
As I am writing this, I realize that I don’t nearly have enough pictures of the good times. I guess that means I was really having fun. Are you part of the Escapees group? What has been your favorite part of being a member? If not, what is your favorite part of the RV community?
Stay tuned for part 2: The Xcapers Take Over Santa Fe.