Labor Day fun, from high country to low country

Tony Casey • Sep 3, 2013 at 7:01 AM

From the lake to the mountains, the Johnson City area was busy with Labor Day activities.

For a lot of people who wouldn’t usually have a day off on Monday, they were able to take advantage of cooperating weather to enjoy the natural benefits of the area.

On Boone Lake, at Hidden Cove Marina, a group of kids was jumping off the docks while others were catching crayfish under the docks. And the catching was good.

Luke and Jacob Jenkins were proud to show off their bucket of captive crayfish. They teamed with Ashley Doyle and Jessie and Megan Earp to make the most of the holiday, which kept them out of school for the day.

Labor Day is an unofficial end to summer, which is exactly what had Ethan Hedick and Cody Patterson leaving the lake Monday afternoon. While they never experienced any rain, they didn’t trust the cloud coverage, and were pulling Patterson’s new boat for the last time this year. They said they had about two hours of fun, swimming and swinging from a rope before calling it quits.

Patterson is a Washington County teacher and said he and Hedick, an East Tennessee State University student, had been out on the lake every free day they had all summer.

A smaller body of water was the main attraction for Blountville’s Jerry Miller. He was fishing for stock fish from the pond dock at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus. The road next to the pond was crowded with dozens of marauding ducks and nearly 100 geese, who would stop traffic just about every time a car would pass. Miller said he enjoyed their company and would rather have them there than not.

The ducks specifically brought over the Alotaibi family from campus, whose young daughter, Yara, was getting an up-close look. Yara’s father, Naif, and mother, Saham, originally from Saudi Arabia, said their usual days off were on Saturday and Sunday, and liked to come enjoy all the grass, the pond and the wildlife at the VA when they could.

Fall soccer is just starting its season, and at an ETSU soccer practice, some young fans of the sport were watching with their moms. Sadie Kegley, of Jonesborough, who works from 8 a.m-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for the Social Security office, had received word that her son Reid’s soccer practice had been canceled, and decided they would check out the college players in action, saying it was too nice to be inside.

Similarly, Tina Bouthillier, who studies Spanish at the university, brought her son, Lucas, to the practice to gauge his interest in the sport. She said Lucas had enjoyed playing soccer with all his buddies from school in the Johnson City Parks and Recreation league.

All the holiday fun wasn’t only going on in the region’s lower elevations. ETSU biology student Jeremy Miller, from Dickson County, was just returning to his car after coming off of an excursion up the Tip Top Trail at White Rock on Buffalo Mountain. He brought his recently rescued dog, Lady, on the journey, which he said lasted more than four hours.

Taking advantage of an extra free day for studying, he said they made an hour-long stop in the middle so he could catch up on some reading he had to do for school. While he enjoyed his reading about aboriginal tribes atop a mountain, he said he still hadn’t caught up.

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