Riding the Shadow

Riding the Shadow is our award-winning documentary about nature’s roles in grief recovery. The film follows our Executive Director Paul Talley on a bikepacking trip on the Colorado Trail 20 years after his involvement in a school shooting. The film highlights one man wrestling for answers while on a trip of a lifetime. This award-winning film is brought to you by Wildness Trek and was shot on location in Colorado and New Mexico.

This film may be used for free by any church, youth organization, small group, team, or school group. We only ask that you do not charge for the viewing of the film and that it be used for teaching or personal growth opportunities. 

Free resources may be downloaded and used for teaching, personal growth, or group discussion only. Please do not duplicate, sell or distribute any of these materials without our expressed written consent. 



Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about who we are and what we are working on? Check out these FAQ about our film

Why did you decide to make a film?

It all started when our Executive Director decided to take a camera on his bikepacking trip to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Columbine. With a background in landscape photography, it quickly became clear a GoPro would fit in his bags better. Since he had a go-pro he thought, why not take as much video as possible, if you are going to take video why not tell the story of the trip, if you are going to tell the story why not get some friends to help. Everything fell into place after that.

What is the film about?

This film is about nature’s role in helping us grow and heal. It follows a bikepacking trip across Colorado. Some of the themes we openly discuss are: Where is God when bad things happen? Does God hear my prayers? And how do caregivers grieve? The goal of the film was to accurately portray grief, recovery, doubt, and adventure travel. 

Will Wilderness Trek make any more films?

We hope to continue making films that highlight nature’s role in helping us grow and heal. We believe strongly that God uses creation to bless humans and that when we interact with nature we can more clearly see God’s presence in our world. Nature is the witness to the presence of an often invisible God. We hope to create more stories that highlight how we can interact with God and God’s creation through nature and adventure. For this reason, we are calling this Episode 1. If you would like to help us make more films please follow our youtube page and consider donating on our secure site under the donate button. 

What is bikepacking?

Bikepacking is self-contained travel by bike. It is just like backpacking but on a bicycle. All luggage and gear is carried on the bike instead of your back.

What is the Colorado Trail?

The Colorado Trail is a hiking trail that goes from Denver, CO to Durango, CO. It can be done as a backpacking trail or a mountain bike trail. Because mountain bikes are not permitted in Wilderness Areas, the biking trail varies slightly from the hiking trail. All wilderness areas must be circumnavigated adding time, distance, and often difficulty to the biking portion. Over 70% of the trail is shared by hikers and bikers. The biking trail is 539 miles long, has 72,500ft of climbing, and has a high point of 13,270 feet above sea level. Most people who ride the trail take 10-12 days. The record for the fastest mountain bike ride on the trail is UNDER 4 DAYS!

What gear did you take with you?

On this trip, Paul was self-contained and self-supported. This meant that he carried or purchased all of his food and supplies. Over the 14 days of this trip, he spent 3 nights in friends’ houses and camped the other 11 nights. His gear included: an ultralight tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, rain gear, clothing, tools, spare tubes, a spare derailer cable, personal gear, and all the camera equipment he needed to film his journey.