Harley Rustad

Harley Rustad

Harley Rustad is the author of Big Lonely Doug: The Story of Oneof Canada’s Last Great Trees. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Outside, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, and Geographical. He is a features editor and writer at The Walrus, a faculty editor at the Banff Centre’s Mountain and Wilderness Writing residency, and the founder of the PortRenfrew Writers’ Retreat. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Rustad is originally from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Website: harleyrustad.com
Twitter: @hmrustad
Instagram: @hmrustad


Lost in the Valley of Death

I<strong>n the vein of Jon Krakauer's <em>Into the Wild</em>, a riveting work of narrative nonfiction centering on the unsolved disappearance of an American backpacker in India – one of at least two dozen tourists who have met a similar fate in the remote and storied Parvati Valley. </strong>

For centuries, India has enthralled Westerners looking for an exotic getaway, a brief immersion in yoga and meditation, or, in rare cases, a true pilgrimage to find spiritual revelation. Justin Alexander Shetler, an inveterate traveler trained in wilderness survival, was one such seeker. In his early thirties, Justin quit his job at a tech startup and set out on a global journey – across the United States by motorcycle, then down to South America, and on to the Philippines, Thailand, and Nepal – in search of authentic experiences and meaningful encounters while documenting his travels on Instagram. His enigmatic character and magnetic personality gained him a devoted following who lived vicariously through his adventures.

But the ever-restless explorer was driven to seek out ever-greater extremes, and greater risks, in what had become a personal quest – his own hero’s journey. In 2016, he made his way to the Parvati Valley, a remote and rugged corner of the Indian Himalayas steeped in mystical tradition and shrouded in darkness and danger. There he spent weeks studying under the guidance of a sadhu, an Indian holy man, living and meditating in a cave. At the end of August, accompanied by the sadhu, he set off on a spiritual journey to a holy lake – one from which he would never return<em>. </em>

<em>Lost in the Valley of Death</em> is about one man’s search to find himself, in a country where, for many Westerners, the path to spiritual enlightenment can prove fraught, even treacherous. But it is also a story about all of us and the ways, sometimes extreme, we seek fulfillment in life.
<h2><strong>GET THE BOOK</strong></h2>
<a href="https://shop.owlsnestbooks.com/item/rC8Hn_GwKfT2s0TZUi_O7Q">Owl’s Nest Books</a> <a href="https://calgary.bibliocommons.com/v2/record/S95C1444793">| Calgary Public Library</a>
<h2><strong>BE CURIOUSER </strong></h2>
<li><strong>Seeking Enlightenment, He Disappeared into a Hiker’s Bermuda Triangle. </strong><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/books/review/lost-in-the-valley-of-death-harley-rustad.html"><em>-The New York Times</em></a></li>


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