Scraping Heaven : A Family's Journey along the Continental Divide

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Overview

Praise for Cindy Ross's A Woman's Journey:

"Ross lets readers into her heart."­­Publishers Weekly

"A beautiful book, a wonderfully fascinating narrative."­­Annie Dillard

A true account of a family's five-year adventure in the untamed wilderness of the American Rockies

The Continental Divide Trail, a rugged, 3,100-mile footpath running along the crest of the Rocky Mountains ...

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Overview

Praise for Cindy Ross's A Woman's Journey:

"Ross lets readers into her heart."­­Publishers Weekly

"A beautiful book, a wonderfully fascinating narrative."­­Annie Dillard

A true account of a family's five-year adventure in the untamed wilderness of the American Rockies

The Continental Divide Trail, a rugged, 3,100-mile footpath running along the crest of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico, is infamous for its tricky mountain passes and snowy traverses. In 1993, Cindy Ross, her husband, and their two toddlers, ages one and three, set out together on the Trail. Using llamas as kid-carriers and packers, they successfully hiked the entire Trail over the next five summers, covering the last 700 miles on tandem mountain bikes in 1998.

In Scraping Heaven, Cindy Ross­­the author of four critically acclaimed books­­deftly interweaves evocative descriptions of the landscape with dramatic accounts of sudden snowstorms, gale winds, and wildlife encounters. Through it all, her intimate reflections on marriage, family, and children provide contrapuntal depth and interest far beyond the high Rocky Mountain peaks.

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Editorial Reviews

Publisher's Weekly
Well written, captivating and incredibly educational, this adventure is a lesson in life's simplicity and the beauty of accomplishment.
Publishers Weekly
Helen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." And it is with this in mind that seasoned trekkers Todd and Cindy Ross set out to hike along the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico with their two toddlers, Sierra and Bryce, and a string of four llamas. When Ross (A Woman's Journey) and her husband first met, two of the main loves they shared were of hiking and the outdoors. But when their children arrived, they were afraid they would have to wait years to return to the wilderness-until hearing of the docile nature and great versatility of the llama as a pack animal. And so they began in the summer of 1993, hiking through the Colorado Rockies, learning the habits of llamas, inventing more efficient ways to wash diapers on the trail and keeping two toddlers entertained, warm and healthy while trying to stay sane and absorb the vast beauty of the trail that drew them. After two months, more than 300 miles, bags of candy, wet and smelly socks, lightning storms and temper tantrums, what their friends and family thought would end early in disaster was completed with success and the desire to do it all over again. That summer in 1993 ends five years later as the Ross family returns summer after summer to the Continental Divide Trail in their quest to grow closer and be one with nature. Not only are readers given the opportunity to experience the sheer beauty and at times frightening dangers of the trail, but they also watch two children grow and learn to call the trail their home. Well written, captivating and incredibly educational, this adventure is a lesson in the simplicity of life and the beauty of accomplishment. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071373609
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 8/14/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

ProloguePart One: The Colorado Trail, 1992 - 93 1 A Dream Takes Root: September 1992 2 On the Road: June 22, 1993 3 The First Week: July 6, 1993 4 The Ten Mile Range: July 16, 1993 5 The Cochetopa Hills: August 1, 1993 6 Company Arrives: August 18, 1993 7 The Last Stretch: August 25, 1993 8 At Home: September 4, 1993 Part Two: The Continental Divide Trail, Canada to Chief Joseph Pass, Montana, 1995 9 A New Dream: Spring 1994 10 A Challenging Start: July 12, 1995 11 Scapegoat and "the Bob": July 25, 1995 12 Glacier National Park: August 9, 1995 13 Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness: August 26, 1995 Part Three: The Continental Divide Trail, Chief Joseph Pass, Tetons, 1996 14 The Centennial Mountains: July 1, 1996 15 The Beaverhead Mountains: July 23, 1996 16 The Southern Bitterroots: August 7, 1996 17 Yellowstone: August 22, 1996 18 The Teton Wilderness: August 28, 1996 Part Four: The Continental Divide Trail, Through Wyoming, 1997 19 The Great Divide Basin: June 21, 1997 (and more...)
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2002

    Scraping Heaven : A Family's Journey along the Continental Divide

    My family and I have hiked many segments of the trails Cindy Ross writes about in her extremely evocative and exhilarating tale called "Scraping Heaven." Completing either the Colorado Trail (nearly 500 miles from Denver to Durango) or the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico) has always been a personal fantasy and probably shall always remain one. But after reading Ross's fine account of the agonies and ecstasies of the journey, I feel as if I've been at her side every step of the way. I've felt her passion and optimism at the beginning of the challenge, her maternal concerns for her family, her frustration with uncooperative animals, malfunctioning equipment and impatient husband and kids. I've felt her overpowering fatigue at the end of the day, and then renewed my spirit with her as she celebrates the power and beauty of the wilderness landscape. I applaud the Ross family for completing their five-summer trek over the roof-top of North America. Although the adventure offered endless physical and mental challenges, few families are able to tell a more inspiring tale of self-reliance, trust, interdependence, and self-determination. For those who've never hiked a mountain trail, Cindy Ross's tale of curiosity and perserverence offer even the most seasoned armchair traveler an enjoyable and stimulating mental adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2002

    Scraping Heaven : A Family's Journey along the Continental Divide

    Some adventure books are driven with the end goal in mind, a striving to reach something, building to a climax. Scraping Heaven is a story where the end,the finish is not as important as in these other books. It is an adventure where the goal is the path, where Cindy Ross's dreams and life force become the motivation for the day-to-day journey along the Rocky Mountain spine of the Continental Divide. Experiences are what matter, both the sublime and the nitty gritty. She writes of how a remote place feels like home: "How can such a wild, unknown place come to feel so familiar?...You have to immerse yourself in the sylvan streams, the sunrises and sunsets, the sound of bugling elk. Living in the Tetons makes them your home. It's a differewnt kind of ownership, a different kind of home, and it's perhaps more lasting." You can feel and hear what she writes about: "Afterward we lie on large rocks that have soaked up the sun's rays to warm and dry ourselves. The kids yell across the lake to the granite cirque we sit in and it echoes their voices. The land is talking back to them and it tells them of the largeness of the world." Cindy does not gloss over the details of the nitty gritty: the personality clashes, the stinky socks, the kids fighting about getting cooties from drinking out of the same side of the water bottle, and how intimacy with her husband tends to evaporate on the trail. Sometime the sublime merges with the nitty gritty: "At night, it's a land of yipping coyotes and stars so abundant that if you are a little boy, and wake up in the middle of the night, you stand and stare with your mouth open and your head tilted back, and you pee on yourself because you just can't believe how many stars there are n the sky." What really emerges from these pages is the author's love of life. The only thing stronger that that is her love of family. Together they are living the big question, "How does one truly live?" Cindy's kids grew up on the backbone of the world, the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Eventually they came to a finish line at the Mexican Border. I wished at that point that the book could go on. But in the Epilogue we get the feeling that there will be more tales to come...more good stories from Cindy Ross- mother, wife, and life explorer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2002

    A Vicarious Journey Through the Continental Divide

    Scraping Heaven is a beautifully written story. Cindy Ross describes the landscapes so vividly, you imagine yourself there. She talks about the family and social dynamics so openly, you feel like you are with them on their journey through the Continental Divide. As in life, it¿s not all about beautiful views and happy times. She doesn¿t leave out the hardships of bad weather, failing equipment, and strained family and friend relations. She also shares with you the joys of nature¿s rewards and the kindness of strangers. You experience life¿s lessons along with them. My favorite parts are those involving their son Bryce. I¿d often laugh out loud, even days later, just recalling stories of his antics. ¿It¿s only recently that Bryce¿s three year old brain has realized that the Oscar Meyer song he likes to sing is about one of his favorite foods. He is so taken by this discovery that he shouts to every hiker he sees on the widened, graded trail that leads to the parking lot: `Do you know that an Oscar Meyer wiener is a hot dog?¿¿ It was thoughtful of her to have an Epilogue, updating you on her and her family¿s lives, because by the end of the book, you feel like you know them, and so would naturally be interested in how they are doing these days. I would recommend this book to hikers and non-hikers alike. It keeps you interested and entertained from the inside cover until the last word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2002

    The Next Best Thing to Being There

    If you can't go out and thru-hike the CDT yourself - then read Cindy's book instead! As with all of Cindy's previous books, her writing puts you right on the trail with her and her family. You feel all of the joy, the pain, the tears, the laughter and see all of the incredible beauty on this magnificent trail. To hike such a trail is a monumnetal undertaking, but to include your young children in such a hike is incredible. Her honesty about life on the trail with her family only reinforces the respect I have for her and her family. I highly recommend Scraping Heaven - truly a work of art.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

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