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Article: The Approaching Storm - Kalen Thorien

The Approaching Storm - Kalen Thorien

The Approaching Storm - Kalen Thorien

Kalen Thorien, the atomic individual who thrives on little but a Land Cruiser named Francis and day-in-day-out SHREDDING.


Kalen Thorien is a road warrior, a woman with fire who behaves rarely, an "outdoor romantic at heart" with zest for life and a taste for big mountain skiing. "I've always been the type of person that has big dreams," Kalen said at the start of her 270-mile, 18-day solo high traverse of the Seirra Nevada Mountains back in 2016. "I just did it. Just like that... The hardest thing sometimes in the pursuit of our goals is to just pull the trigger. Just start."

So what defines this charismatic adventuring icon and social media mogul? Kalen gives credit to her mother for inspiring her to "pursue all things with courage, conviction, love, and a sense of humor." And that's just what she's done -- become a self-made athlete, musician, mechanic, and Instagram star. 

What about Francis? The 1986 HJ60 Diesel Toyota Land Cruiser has racked up about 250,000 miles now, often with a Bigfoot camping trailer in tow. "Francis is a rust bucket, but she goes," Kalen said. Indeed, the rust bucket has a nose for fresh pow, and has delivered Kalen to adventures across North America. The freedom of the road means everything to her. "It allows me to go to all the places I really love and not have to sacrifice being stuck owning a home or renting a place."

Kalen Thorien is originally from Boise, Idaho; but now the road is her home. And when she doesn't feel like hauling the house around with her, you'll find Kalen cruising on her 1993 Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide. "Hands down the best bike that Harley ever built."

And lest you forget, Kalen Thorien likes fresh pow. She likes it a lot, and she has a talent for conveying that passion. On Instagram she wrote, "I love the feeling of an approaching storm. The skies clear to a crisp blue and the air is saturated with energy. The wind escalates with a purpose, like a soldier warning of an attack. Behind it, with equal pace, lies an army of elements hungry for its destination. From the mountains one can look west and see the pitch black horizon line. You can almost smell the cold and snow as the winds calm to a whisper and the sky surrenders to its enemy. Now it’s staring down the barrel of the mountaintops and we, the patient scavengers, wait for the battle to be over, because the aftermath of the chaos leaves a blanket of deep snow, covering any sign of the struggle, and giving its onlookers pure, unadulterated fun."

Kalen Thorien's unique and bold approach to life has been richly rewarding, both to her and to tens of thousands of followers who are privileged to share in her stunning vistas, listen to and read her engaging stories, and feel her powerful spirit. Says she, "The nomadic lifestyle has given me a confidence. It forces you to really rely on yourself and to keep a calm head. It's taught me the importance of the friendships you make and the people you meet along the way and not to just shake someone off. Lastly, it's given me a real appreciation for the here and now. You can't predict tomorrow. Just step out your front door and look around and just take in your surroundings. because it's really about this moment, who you are, and loving that and being okay with that, and just really being grateful."

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