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Scraping Heaven

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Beginning when their children were one and three years old - barely old enough to walk across their living room rug - Cindy Ross and her husband spent five extraordinary summers hiking the length of the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico. Ross undertook the challenge to teach her children that any worthwhile experience comes with its own set of chall ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published August 14th 2002 by International Marine Publishing
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Scraping Heaven by Cindy RossThe Great Divide by Stephen PernMan in the Middle by John IlligHiking the Continental Divide Trail by Jennifer A. HansonWhere the Waters Divide by Karen Berger
Hiking the CDT
11 books — 2 voters
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah GuarinoLlama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna DewdneyHearts and Llamas by Tara SivecThe Llama Space Tale by Isshak FerdjaniLlama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
61 books — 8 voters

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Ross and her husband were not new to thru-hiking when they decided to hike first the Colorado Trail and then the whole Continental Divide Trail: they'd both done both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and they knew what such an undertaking entailed. They had, of course, never made such a trek with small children along.

Two adults with children—one still in diapers—requires a great deal more preparation and planning than two adults on their own, and Ross and her husband happily pu
Nov 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: thru-hiking
Another tale of thru-hiking, but this family actually finished the trail (as opposed to Bryson). And this family is one of those crazy, wonderfully liberal and conservative, live-off-the-land, make-your-own-log-cabin, never-hold-a-normal-job families. Experienced thru-hikers decided to hike the Colorado Trail with their one- and three-year-old on llamas (see why I picked it up?). After that, they did the rest of the Continental Divide Trail (a feat!) in the next three years, section by section. ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. I wanted to like this book. Walking the Continental Divide with your family? Cool. When your family includes two children, ages one and three, I'm sure it was challenging. But I didn't expect every child or adult outburst/need/tantrum/conflict to be described in such detail as well as multiple episodes of arrogance and comparison of workload. These people were NOT having a good time and continued to force the situation for several years as they hiked the trail in segments. ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Typically I'm not a fan of reading about the adventures of others. Neither I nor anyone I personally know would attempt a trip of this magnitude. Throughout the book my thoughts waffled between, "why in the world would you do this?" to "YES! So glad you did this AND wrote about it!". The Continental Divide is certainly something I want to learn more about after reading this book. When I sit here and truly reflect I realized I'm more than a bit jealous of someone who can live the life they live. ...more
Michelle Schwartz Jackson
I couldn't finish the book. I love the hiker books and thought how impressive it is that this family walked the trail with their children and alpacas. However, it felt like the author was constantly complaining about her husband or her children. I didn't feel like I was getting much of the journey as it was more of an figuring out the family dynamics. ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Grisak
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved reading about Cindy and Todd's adventures with their two young children. What an inspiration! ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Literary Mama
From "Essential Reading: Bravery" by Literary Mama staff:

Literary Reflections Co-Editor Andrea Lani describes a personal journey I'd call as brave as any travel adventure: "Fifteen years ago, I had big plans. My husband and I were on the verge of setting off for the Peace Corps in Africa, and, having already hiked the Colorado Trail, we hoped to complete the much longer Continental Divide Trail (CDT) when we returned. Then we had a baby, and, four years later, two more. We traded in a life of wo
Leighanne Medina
As a parent of active, hiking kids, I really wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't.

I enjoyed the story, which was why I gave this one three stars, but the way the story was told left much to be desired.

I have discovered that sometimes when people choose counter-cultural lifestyles they can get very defensive about those lifestyles, and in writing that comes off as self-righteous. I could not get over the self-righteous tone of this book. The author was a very strong personality that had
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Another account of walking the Continental Divide Trail, only done over 5 summers, with two very young children in tow. Cindy Ross wrote an excellent book about her precious hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, but this one was more about the interaction between her and her husband and and their trail life with the kids and the pack of llamas that they used on this adventure. Lots of complaining in these pages. It is a much tougher and longer way to go when you are changing and washing out diapers a ...more
Janine Weston
Cindy Ross provides a heart-felt account of her family's 5-summer treks along the entire Continental Divide Trail. Both being seasoned, long-distance hikers, Todd and Cindy Ross begin their first 500-mile segment in 1993 with their two very young children and a string of llamas to carry the bulk of their gear and the children. Although the family endures extreme weather, exhaustion, hunger, and pain, they are compensated with spectacular views, serene camp spots, and strengthened family ties. Ci ...more
David Kessler
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cindy Ross can really write. Her story of her family, "one husband, one wife and two small children", traveling the length of the Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Canada in several segments is breathtaking. Take care of the adults, take care of the children and of course do not forget the llamas. It took her family several years, but what an adventure. ...more
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I read this right before I took four of my kids on a three week trip to Montana. Was inspiring to know someone else was as crazy as I was. Every time I wanted to leave a few kids at a rest stop I'd tell myself at least you don't have to take care of llamas too ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the book out of all the books I have that has been borrowed the most.
Not as good as her older books.
Michael Mcfadden
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