Part test drive, part Alaskan adventure, the launch of the 2018 Chevy Cruze Diesel was nothing if not exciting. The rally took us around the Kenai Peninsula from Anchorage to Homer and back again, seeing as much uninhabited nature as the country’s biggest state has to offer. The first major stop, Exit Glacier in Seward, overwhelmed. When heading into the Kenai Fjords national park next, the trees take on multiple colors with the glacier blue backdrop making for a spectacular sight. After hiking that national park—taking in the aforementioned views—we headed to Seward for a dinner of deep-fried chunks of Halibut. At dusk, we drove the cars down onto a riverbed (this model isn’t four-wheel drive, but took the flat off-roading easily). The scenery makes for an awesome backdrop, though most of Alaska seems made for photographers.
The drive from Seward to Homer is beautiful but a good three hours. While we stopped countless times to get photos of everything from lakes to wild moose, we were thankful for the car’s spacious and comfortable seats. Stopping in Anchor Point for a coffee, we then headed to the ocean to check out a campground that the coffee shop owner recommended we see. The westernmost point one can drive to from mainland Alaska, this place is quite magical. We even spied several bald eagles before hopping back in the cars. Soon we were headed to Homer—specifically the Homer Spit, a long strip of land with shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants and beaches. Almost every vantage point in Homer is ideal—the city sits on a bay that’s surrounded by multiple volcanos and glaciers.
Next morning, we swapped out the cars for a four-seater seaplane and flew to Katmai National Park. After a session of “bear school” (essentially tips for survival) we went out into the park and almost immediately saw a bunch of brown bears playing and feeding on salmon in the nearby river. The sheer size of these creatures is impressive. Soon after we tok a mile hike through the trees to Brooks Falls, where we watched the giant males catching salmon swimming up stream.
Images by Robert King