Heading up the expedition is supervising senior producer Lisa and her team. Lisa says the show was inspired to head west after receiving a letter from park ranger Shelton Johnson, who wrote to Oprah because he's concerned by the low number of African-Americans who visit the national parks each year. Out of the 280 million tourists who come, just 1 percent are African-American. "He would like to up that number and he needs her help," Lisa says.
Still, not even the magic of television can disguise one key aspect of this shoot. "Oprah and Gayle are really not campers," Lisa says. "Don't be fooled one second thinking it's like any ordinary camper trip."
Watch Oprah call to invite Gayle on the trip