Halloween at Pinery Provincial Park, Oct 2015

This was our fourth visit to Pinery for their Halloween weekend, and we had a great time!  I was stressing the whole weekend about the rain expected the whole day Saturday, but luckily, it only rained for about 30 minutes total all day!

We arrived Thursday morning, and the park was bare.  We were on site 799, in Riverside 4.  I’d bet there was 2-3 other people there when we arrived.  The weather for Thursday and Friday was awesome!  Sunny, and 16 degrees.  We went on a few hikes, and enjoyed some company Thursday night.  We even got to watch the Arborists taking limbs down way up in the trees.  This occupied my attention for a couple hours!

Friday came, and the weather was just as good.  I started setting up some tarps for Saturday, as there was 60% chance of rain the whole day.  I also enjoyed watching all the trailers pull in, and fill the park!  I would say R4 was at 95% capacity Friday night.  The early arrivers even started setting up their decorations Friday night, we lead to a great walk around the park in the evening.

Saturday morning arrived, and it was raining!  Our guests arrived, and we sat under the tarp for 20 minutes until the rain stopped.  It didn’t rain again until 8pm!  This was unexpected, but we embraced it!  We spent the majority of the day setting up, and even had time to go for a nice walk around the grounds.

The kids started arrived particularly early.  I would say they started around 530pm, and it was fairly bright still.  That’s OK, as we were prepared.  I believe our neighbours counted 290 kids!  After the kids stopped coming, we then walked to the two larger sites.  Site 717 was having a pirate theme, and the trail on the east end of the campground had a haunted trail.

Pinery did a great job hosting us all.  The park ranger were driving around throughout the night.  I think I saw them 3-4 times.

It was a great weekend overall!  I just love everyones mood at this time of year.  Everyone seems that so much happier to be camping in October.

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Halloween at Pinery Provincial Park – 2014

Overall, we had a great weekend!  We missed it last year, but were present in 2012.  Earlier this year, I walked through the park and found a site that we would eventually book for Halloween 2014.  We booked site 730, because in 2012, this whole row was FULL of trick-or-treaters, and decorated campsites.  This year was a little different, more on that later.

We arrived early on the Friday, and relaxed for the day.  We had some friends come up later on in the evening, had a nice campfire, then went down for the night.  Saturday we were up nice and early decorating our site.  It took the majority of the morning, and early afternoon.  We were going with a typical Halloween theme.  Red lights, scary decorations, scary music, etc, etc.  I think we did a good job using the various decorations we had.

Here’s the one thing that got me slightly upset.  I’ll admit, I did vent about it for a while.  On Friday evening, and Saturday morning, we started to see trucks, with large trailers pull into our row, back their trailer into the site, then proceed to walk away.  I saw this happen 3-4 times with the sites all around us.  I started to wonder where these people were going, and how come they haven’t decorated, or even occupied their site.  Turns out they were grouping up with other families, to decorate one campsite collectively.  This is great and all, because the site was decorated awesomely.  The problem is, our row went from the most popular row in 2012, to a dark, inhabited row this year.  We were the only site on our whole row that was decorated.  We did receive a healthy number of children, but I wonder how many didn’t bother coming down our row, because they thought nothing was going on here.  If you’re going to leave your campsite vacant, to group elsewhere, maybe pick a site that’s not in the center of the park, where it’s generally supposed to be busy.  VENT OVER.

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Just returned from Pinery Provincial Park

My wife and I, and 3 month old son, just returned from Pinery Provincial Park. This is our annual trip to the park, to get the kinks worked out of the trailer for the year.

We stayed in Riverside 4, on site 772. It’s a great site, right on the river. You have some good views of the river, however it’s alot windier closer to the river. I find the sites on the river are fairly spaced out, and are large. For some reason, the park officer decided to drive around the park ALL DAY. I think I saw him drive by 10-15 times on Friday, same on Saturday. There were 10 camp sites booked in this area, why the need to drive around all day?

Weather was decent, but fairly chilly. Saturday it didn’t rise past 4 degrees, and cloudy and windy all day. Still great to get out!

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Quite the experience with Ford Canada, CIAS, and the 2015 F-150!

It all started with an unexpected email from Michael, representing Ford Canada and their social media agency .  Now this sparked my interest!  What could this be about.  I immediately called my wife, even before finishing reading the email.  You won’t believe this!

I’m a recently new Ford truck fan, and in August of 2013, I bought my first Ford Truck.  A 2013 Ford F-150, FX4, 5.0L.  I’ve always been a fan of Ford vehicles, but haven’t owned one in  a few years.  Along with ownership of a Ford truck, I took a lot of interest in the Ford brand.  I found that interacting with the brand, made ownership more enjoyable.  I immediately found that Ford has a huge on-line presence, with Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram.  This got me excited, and I started interacting with the brand, by sending in pictures and stories of me using the truck.

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The email from Michael explained they were looking for a Ford Truck Fan, that would be excited in the unveil of the newly redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 at the Canadian International Auto Show.  It was explained they would like to make a short video of my expression, and reaction when the new truck was unveiled.    Ding Ding! I’m interested! Let’s Go!

Within days, my family and I were in my truck, driving down the 401 towards Toronto!  After some frustrating traffic on the QEW, we finally got to the hotel, the day before my appearance at the auto show.

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My wife, son and I had a great afternoon in Toronto.  We went to a restaurant for Lunch, and Supper, and also relaxed in the hotel room.  I had a quick meeting with Michael, where he explained what exactly is happening the next day, and picked a time to meet at the convention center.

The next morning I got up nice and early, and hopped in a cab, to venture over to the Auto Show. I met Michael, and we immediately went to the Ford area at the show.  WOW!  What a spectacle.  All their newest cars and trucks were all set up, and the lighting was perfect.  On the stage was the new pre-production 2015 F-150, new Edge concept, and the 2015 Ford Mustang.  I think I stood there for 5-10 minutes with a smile on my face just embracing it all in.  I even got to sit in the new Edge concept, and the new 2015 Mustang.

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From there, I met a few of Ford’s “twitter’ers” that I’ve been following, and interacting with. @FordArnolderL, @FordAnsonDixon, and @FordCraigSilva. This was exciting for me, to see their faces, and chat with them in person.  I also met a few other people from Ford, and their Social Media agency.  I now have a few more people to follow on Twitter!

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After a quick walk around the Auto Show, and a bite to eat. It was showtime!

My first task was to introduce myself, and say why I was at the show.  The film crew filmed, as I did just that.  “Hey, I’m Nate Meyer, I’m a Ford truck fan, and I’m at the Canadian International Auto Show, to see the new 2015 Ford F-150”.  A couple takes, of that, and I was starting to get less nervous.  From there, we walked into the Ford press area, and sat down in the provided seating.  The unveil of the F-150 was about to begin.  I was excited!

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The premise of the video was to video tape my reaction, in seeing the new truck, as well as to walk around the truck, and describe what I’m liking, and how I’m feeling.  So the unveil has started, and on the three screens behind the F-150 was a video describing some of the features of the new truck.  It was incredible videography, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.  Finally, the cover came off the truck, and it was unveiled.  It was SHARP!  I immediately started seeing some functional, and stylish features.

We then walked around the truck, video camera in tow, and I tried my best to describe what I was seeing at that exact time.  I tried to be as real, and genuine as I could.  This whole video is about the real reactions of a Ford truck fan.  It really did have some great functional features that I would put to use in real life.  The bumper step, the rear box lighting, box side step, rear tailgate step, huge moon roof, and front camera.  The front end is what really caught my eye.  I love how the headlights are shaped, and how very close it is to the Atlas concept.  After going around the truck a few times, I was introduced to a Product Manager at Ford.  We walked around the truck again, and he brought to my attention a few more styling queues that I missed previous.  How the rear tail lights, are styled around the F, in the F-150 emblem.  He also mentioned how there are a total of 4 video cameras, that get stitched together to create a birds eye view of the truck, displayed on the screen.  How, on the extended cab, the rear door opens completely.  So many more functional features that I didn’t catch the first time.  It was really great to be shown the truck, but someone who knows A LOT about it.

The filming was complete, and that’s when I started to relax.  I then mingled for a bit at the Auto Show, then eventually, back to the hotel to pick-up my family, for the ride back home to London.

It was such an awesome experience to be at the show on Press Day, and to see this pre-production truck so close up.  It was also exciting to see a behind-the-scene look at what goes on during these press-days, and unveils.  It’s such a different experience then being there on public day.  I really can’t say enough how excited I was to be picked to do this!

Here’s the LINK to FORD’s website with the story

Almost forgot the video!  Here is what was produced.