2002 photos DWC






Renovations Dickerson Whitewater Course

Model & Course Reconfiguration

Building Model in September 2002 to new Bottom Drop Wave Feature, October 2003

most recent updates posted first


October 2003 course improvements phase II: The concrete slab and two wedges were installed at the end of the course to create a wave feature.


On Saturday, December 7, 2002 volunteers are needed to help move the stairs into the new location a few yards upstream.  Mulch is arriving for the new path recently cut through the woods.  Please bring shovels and heavy duty garden rakes if you have them.  Anyone have a wheel barrow?

Work Update:  On Tuesday, December 3, Silvan Poberaj and David Hearn wired the final seven upright tubes into place in preparation for another delivery of concrete.   David got a workout moving nearly all the remaining rocks into the wing dam.   On December 4, David, Silvan, and Scott Parsons met the Superior Concrete truck to pour the seven remaining cable upright foundations.  They hand dug two holes and placed in concrete two new 4 foot 4x4 posts for the new stair position.  They used the extra concrete to continue to fill one of the gaps between the gumdrops.


Saturday, November 23, 2002

Volunteers: Scott Coulter - Backhoe wizard, David Hearn - Team Leader, Bill Endicott - Team Leader, Silvan Poberaj - Team Leader, Aaron Mann, Louis Geltman, Brett Heyl, Jason Beakes, Brian Parsons, Pat Kingman, Ann Galvin, Jim Hill, Richard Perlmutter, Tony Trenga, Steven Golob, John Barton, Joe Jacobi, Matt Taylor, Chris Ennis, Sam Davis, Yves Narduzzi.

Superior Concrete Company for 2 hours - BCE paying for 4-5 yards pumped concrete and 9 yards gravity fed. Ralph Klein, Owner. Dean Plank, Manager. Pump Operator and 3 Drivers.

Arrived at 7:00 am to crank up the backhoe, Scott Coulter hopped into the seat and said, "Do you want to dig?", David Hearn replied, "Let's dig." In seven hours, Scott dug nineteen holes on river left and one on river right for the cable upright foundations.

As each hole was dug, tube ends were sealed with duct tape, rebar was cut to length, and the upright tube was placed into the hole wired into position onto rebar that had been pounded into the walls of the hole. Then the upright tubes were checked for plumb and adjusted if necessary. Working for vertical here!

Meanwhile, another team of volunteers worked on demolition of the fallen tree with their chain saws. Backhoe master Scott Coulter also widened and leveled the path through the woods for loops, and moved the remains of the fallen tree out of the way into the woods like a bunch of match sticks. Jim Hill worked on replacing some of the divots caused by the backhoe foot pads.

Across the course from the fallen tree, on river left, a group of five out-of-town canoeists gathered for a big game of *boulder rolling*. David cut a hole in the fence to begin the game. The C-boaters engaged in major strength training activities by rolling the large rocks moved yesterday down into the wing dam. Most landed in the wing dam and a few missed and went into the course.

Another team worked on hanging gates on the new gate adjuster system installed the day before.

Silvan Poberaj directed concrete pumping into the six gaps made ready with forms. A second concrete truck arrived and filled thirteen of the holes with concrete around the cable upright tubes. Silvan had a new complexion of light gray concrete freckles by the day's end, being the closest to business end.


Phase 1 of the Dickerson Course Renovation is nearly complete.

Thank you one and all.--David Hearn

~Seven cable upright foundation holes remain to be filled with concrete after tubes are positioned and secured.
~ Lower steps to be moved this week to new location a few yards upstream.
~Ten gaps between the boulders remain to be filled.
~Miller & Long will build fourteen new boulder pieces.
~Low flow needed to add the new boulders.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Volunteers: Bill Endicott, Kurt Braunlich, David Hearn - Team Leader, Brett Heyl, Anna Jorgensen, Nick Kimmet, Sarah Leith, Silvan Poberaj - Team Leader, John Seeley, Will Seeley, Dan Stock.

Rentals Unlimited - Thanks to George Jernigan and Karl Plitt for the four wheel drive extendable backhoe 24 hour rental / 8 hours of operation with BCE only paying for delivery and diesel fuel.

Bill Endicott worked Friday morning on the path from river to top of course. Later on Friday, a team of athletes led by Silvan Poberaj worked on hanging new wires and installing the new gate adjusters. Silvan also pre-installed forms for Saturday's concrete gap filling. David Hearn replaced the cable section knocked down by the fallen tree with help from the John and Will Seeley. Kurt Braunlich and David got busy testing the agility of the rental machine by moving the pile of big rocks downstream to the new left wing dam position with the front-end loader. It got windy, colder and dark, so we went home...


Work at the Dickerson continues Saturday at 9 am, November 9. Please coordinate and check-in with Dickerson team leaders Silvan Poberaj and David Hearn on site.  Form building for concrete gap fill and pipe cutting for gate cable supports are on the agenda. Please bring your cordless drills if you have them. On river left we will measure and mark locations for backhoe holes for new support positions.

Dickerson Workday Summary for Saturday, November 2, 2002

Silvan Poberaj and Nick Kimmet along with Bob Spohn, Dan Stock, Steve Seeber with his trusty hammer drill, and Steven Golob continued to cut and install the forms in the gaps between gumdrop shaped boulders in preparation for concrete pouring. David Hearn completed the cable work on river right (with Bob Spohn's help at the end of the day). Six forms were completed and marked for quick reassembly into the gaps when the concrete pumper truck can come, hopefully next week.


Work at the Dickerson Whitewater Course continues this Saturday morning at 9 am, November 2. Please coordinate and check-in with Dickerson team leaders Silvan Poberaj and David Hearn on site.

The plan of attack includes continuing to cut and starting to install the forms in the gaps between gumdrop shaped boulders in preparation for concrete pouring happening sometime early next week.

Please bring your cordless drills if you have any. Long carbide masonry bits will be useful also for drilling through the existing concrete fill where necessary to allow form installation.

Work will continue tightening the river right cable system. On river left we will measure and mark locations for backhoe holes for new support positions

Dickerson Workday Summary from Saturday, October 26, 2002

Cast of characters in approximate order of appearance:

Patrick Henry, with his truck full of power tools, worked on cutting path through woods, drilling holes in cable supports, the concrete gap project, and cutting board pieces for forms.
Bob Bofinger helped cut the path through the woods and worked on the concrete gap project.
Richard Perlmutter purchased ten bags of sackrete, rebar, mixing tub, wire, etc., and helped cut the path through the woods, and worked on the concrete gap project.
David Hearn, with his car full of power tools and Scott Coulter's generator, organized and directed volunteers, purchased hardware for cable system, worked on the concrete gap project, and worked on tightening river right cable system.
Tony Trenga worked on the concrete gap project.
Chris Soileau worked on the concrete gap project, and worked on engineering of forms for pouring the gaps in between the boulders.
Joel Reeves worked on tightening river right cable and posted Dickerson updates on the BCE website.
Silvan Poberaj worked on tightening river right cable and worked at deftly inquiring and negotiating with concrete pump workers at Mirant plant.
Aaron Mann went to Home Depot for materials for forms in between boulders.
Erik Amason worked on moving and cleaning up rocks from flume.
Nick Kimmet drove to Home Depot and purchased materials for concrete forms in between boulders, and worked on cutting board pieces for forms.
Pat Kingman brought her truck full of power tools, and helped to transport Home Depot purchases with said truck.
Ann Galvin worked in the channel checking for rocks.
Steve & Aaron Seeber playing the roles of inspectors.

The crane could not come because it rained the night before making the ground too soft for the heavy equipment to drive in on river right. Ensuing rain Monday through Wednesday prevented crane work this week also, along with higher flow on the course, around 1/3, since Monday.

Volunteers used saws to clear trees and brush, cutting a path through the woods to help ease running back to the start during endurance workouts.

The gaps at the top of the course below the steps were chosen to try filling by hand with concrete. The roll of chain link fence we pulled out of the course two weeks ago was used for reinforcement, rocks were placed in gaps and concrete was mixed and applied. This was slow and very labor intensive, and quickly used up our 10 bags of concrete on hand.

We brainstormed a bit on strategy for filling the gaps between gumdrops. We dispatched Silvan as an envoy to talk to the concrete pumping contractor crew, which happened to be working at Mirant across the C&O canal and up the hill from the course. We arranged to have them do the pumped concrete supply for us, and it looks like they can come Monday or Tuesday of next week.

We sent Nick and Aaron to buy materials for forms to put in the concrete, and they returned, after Pat Kingman joined them with more transport capacity, with 30 sheets of chipboard, with 2 x 4s to reinforce, and all thread rod + nuts and washers to clamp the forms on with. The pieces were cut to fit the various gap size and shapes.

Thank you Ed Siekierski at the Montgomery County Firefighter Training Academy for lending us the fire hoses needed to connect the Dickerson model up to the water supply.

Thank you Beallsville Fire Department Captain Tim Thorne, for your letter of support to Montgomery County, and help getting us in touch with crane company Digging & Rigging, Inc. Thanks also for coming out with your rescue boat to try to survey the bottom with the bottom profiler, it was worth a try.

Thank you Jim Gregory of Digging & Rigging for taking the time to inspect the Dickerson Whitewater Course and talk over boulder adjustments and installation.

Thank you Bob Bofinger for helping to research options for concrete supply.

Thank you Richard Perlmutter and Silvan Poberaj for continuing to speak with Mirant about the course flow.

Thank you John Anderson and Richard Perlmutter for working out the details getting the boulder plans to architect Luis Fernandez.

Thank you Richard Perlmutter and John Anderson for working out Miller & Long construction plans for the creation of the new boulders.

Thank you David Hearn for arranging the use of the lifting eyes from Mike Cantrall of Miller & Long on loan from Williams Equipment Company.

Thank you Scott Coulter for the use of your generator.

Thank you Steve Seeber for arranging for Michael Coombs of Commercial Roofing and Sheet Metal to help us by fabricating 70 aluminum gate brackets.

We are digging holes for cable uprights on river left with a backhoe also, to fill with concrete around pipe sleeves to set the upright posts in.

We need to find a source of about 16 pieces x 2.5 feet or 40 feet total of pipe for our upright sleeves on river left. Mirant cannot let us use any of the old 4-inch id pipes from the pile near the intake bldg. We have 3 x 2.5 ft. pieces on hand. PVC may be a workable alternative.

Thanks you everyone for all of your hard work. We couldn't tackle this project without each and every one of you. -- David Hearn


10/26/02- The overnight rain has made it too wet for Rigging and Digging to get their crane in next to the course today. They will try for Monday or Tuesday, we should be able to do that with 4 - 6 riggers in the water.

We have plenty of work to do today without the crane, however. We can clear out rocks in the channel by hand, cement some gaps between boulders using forms, re-hang the cable river right, and cut the path in the woods.

We hope to have a crane from Digging & Rigging at the Dickerson Whitewater Course on Saturday morning, October 26. The flow is extremely low making the conditions great for working in the course. We will need people in the water helping to move rocks. Wet suits, shoes, gloves, masks, eye goggles will be helpful. Water is 56 degrees F, pretty cool.

We are waiting to hear back from Mirant to see if it is possible have low flow down the course after Monday, Oct 27. Miller & Long Concrete Construction is to build 13 new boulders, including the 20x5x1 foot tripodal bottom hole piece and 2 side ramps. These new boulders will not be ready for this weekend.

Here is the battle plan:

1. Remove rocks that are present under the wave generator above the left wing dam plus all other loose rocks in the flume. Some of these rocks will be used to fill gaps between boulders with cement. Other rocks can be placed in the river left wing dam.

2. Clean rocks out of bottom drop, about 3-5 feet deep. We will swim for these rocks with the help of a crane tray, and/or cables to get around them to pull them out.

3. Slightly adjust C boulder not sitting properly on left side of flume below bottom step.

4. Reposition and re-attach stairs river right.

5. Cut, tighten, and clamp river right cable by sections, and inspect hardware for replacement.

6. Cut a path through the woods to facilitate loop workouts.

7. We need a Team Leader to organize and manage buying, mixing, and installing concrete wedges between some of the boulders. The idea is to use cut plywood shapes as forms with wire binding them in place in between the boulders to hold the concrete temporarily while it sets. Any volunteers?

Thank you for your help on this incredible project -- David Hearn


Predawn to Beyond Dusk…Dickerson update following 10/12/02 Boulder Moving.

A huge BCE thank you to our volunteers who turned out at 6:30 am to meet Mike Cantrall of Miller & Long Construction Company with his nine-person crew. Miller & Long provided two cranes, two flatbed tractor trailers, crane operators, oilers, drivers, helpers and laborers to operate their own 50-ton unit on river left along with a specially rented 120-ton crane on river right used to make all the boulder changes.

John Anderson and David Hearn were in charge, directing removal and replacement of the boulders river left and river right respectively.

A special tribute goes to our tough as nails BCE Rigging Crew: Silvan Poberaj, Brett Heyl, Kurt Braunlich, Nick Kimmet, Jason Beakes, Mike Dinnie, Louis Geltman, and Mike Johnson.

Our BCE volunteer crew also included Richard Perlmutter, Ann Galvin, Joel Reeves, Gil Rocha, Chris Soileau, Fire Captain Tim Thorne, Jim Frid, and Peter Potter. Thank you Steven Golob for initiating removal of the sharp metal chain link fence post concrete lump remnants on river right.

At first light work began moving the ballast rock from the river left wing dam. These suckers were so big two or more people were required to move some of them. The rocks were loaded into a shallow tray lowered by the crane into the wing dam.

Boulder movement began at the bottom of the course at 8:30 am, beginning with hooking up the submerged B gumdrop on river right below the bottom drop.

Next we hooked up a chain threaded through a handy blasting drill hole to pull out the familiar mossy green guard rock on the river right side of the last drop. A theme repeated all day became apparent here. Each rock looked much bigger after it was pulled out of the water, and conversely, as we began to lower rocks into their new positions, huge stone behemoths were swallowed up despite the lower flow down the course.

Twenty-five new rock positions were achieved using our existing menu of boulders by moving twenty-seven boulders with lots of swapping and shuffling. Work proceeded slowly, but steadily over ten hours. We only had three extra pieces; an A and two D bases and one more extra piece than we had to start with after putting it all back together!

The course was running at 1/3 flow initially rather than the expected 1/6 flow. Summer weeds being sucked into the power plant from the Potomac River compromised water intake at the screen house. The power plant was forced to compensate by pumping more water to keep their generating units from overheating. By late morning the flow was reduced to 1/4 to 1/5 flow. Positioning boulders proceeded easily with this low flow. By mid-afternoon however, during a critical point in placing the wave generator an urgent order was issued to clear the channel because the course would soon be surging to full flow. Our Riggers reported later that the water had suddenly become much warmer just prior to this call. The generating unit online had reportedly begun to overheat. The flow did increase, but stabilized at 1/3 flow.

Brookmont neighbor and scuba diver Josh Spring swam the bottom drop to help recon and measure the depth from the edge of the concrete to the river bottom. This was a lot shallower than expected around three feet. Volunteers found a largely smooth and fairly flat bedrock bottom below the end of the course. This information will be indispensable to finalizing our bottom hole improvements coming soon.

A chain link fence roll and a wedged black plastic pipe were removed from the course. Late in the day, Kurt Braunlich displayed unflappable concentration on the task at hand during a critical flounder placement. He never flinched when a dead but lively eel came down the course and wrapped around his leg, yikes.

Thank you everyone for all of your hard work on this day.

Thank you Richard Perlmutter for securing Miller & Long’s contribution of the invaluable crane time and service.

Much work is still needed before the course will be ready for training again. We will need everyone to continue to pitch in when they can. 

Thank you Team BCE! --David Hearn


Moving boulders into their new positions 10/12/02

Miller & Long crane work will begin at 7:00 am until at least the early afternoon.
Check-in with David Hearn and/or John Anderson at the site.

-The two teams of volunteers that are helping to rig from the water will need to arrive at 6:30 am, suit up and be ready to go at 7:00 am. Four people will be in the water with: sturdy shoes (steel toe boots or felt-bottom wading shoes helpful) no bare feet, helmet and PFD required.

-We will be removing rocks from the Left Wing Dam so this can also be moved with the crane. (gloves helpful.)

-Swim to recon and measure below the bottom drop. Clean out misc. rocks that can be easily moved and check depth. (Wet suits will be helpful as water is cool.) Diving mask or goggles will also be helpful. A couple divers are participating also. Facilitate crane lifting large rocks out.

All volunteers need a helmet and PFD. Please bring Throw Bags.

Thanks to everyone who has helped with this amazing project so far! -- David Hearn


Model update and schedule by Bill Endicott

1. Model Done. On September 22, the new model of the course was finished and turned over to John Anderson who is in charge of the testing process. The following people worked on the model project, putting in about 200 man-hours:

-Overall Coordinator: Bill Endicott
-Wood Cutters: Brian Zimmerman, Pat Kingman, Mike Sloan, John Seeley, 
Bill Endicott, Chris Soileau, and Craig Law.
-Transporting Pieces to Dickerson: Tom McEwan and Andrew McEwan.
-Assembling the Model: Coordinator: Bill Endicott, Helpers: David Hearn, 
John Morgan, John Seeley, Will Seeley, Tony Trenga, John Anderson, Mike Sloan,
Susan Sauer, Bob Bofinger, Craig Law, Jason Beakes, Brian Parsons, 
Chris Soileau, and Silvan Poberaj.

2. Week of September 23. Testing on the model under the supervision of John Anderson, Chairman of a course design committee consisting of the following people:

David Hearn, Silvan Poberaj, Richard Perlmutter, Jason Beakes, Colin Kemp.

3. October 11. Start of low water on the canal and consequently when we need to make changes on the course. Mirant says they will only have one pump in service on the weekend of 10/11 (one sixth flow). After there will be about 1/3 flow through 10/28. But there is one disclaimer: if river water temperatures stay up, flows will be 1/3 on 10/11 and 2/3 until temps drop.


Course improvements originally posted on http://www.ccadc.org/bce/dickerson-2002.html


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