Oprah and Gayle at the campsite

After days of scouting, shopping and preparing for Oprah and Gayle's camping adventure at Yosemite National Park, it's game on for supervising senior producer Lisa and her team. Oprah and Gayle have touched down in California and are ready to spend the weekend in the great outdoors.

Although Oprah didn't particularly care for her 2006 road trip with Gayle, she says she couldn't turn down this opportunity. "When this proposal came up for Yosemite, I opted for it because I knew it would not be longer than two days," Oprah says. "And the biggest reason is I really wanted to see Yosemite. I love the outdoors. I love trees. So I thought Gayle would be a good choice to take because Gayle doesn't like the outdoors."

On the way to the campsite, Lisa and her team follow behind Oprah and Gayle's car, which is rigged with four cameras. Still, there's one major hitch—the cameras turn off every time the car turns off. A crew member must always activate the cameras when the car is started again. "Part of this camping experience is getting to the location so we want to be able to capture any of the conversation that goes on between Oprah and Gayle while they're driving," Lisa says. "I'm counting on that to be at least a segment in the show."

On the road, Oprah and Gayle start asking each other trivia questions. When a question sparks a heated conversation about Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo, producers think they've found television gold. What they don't realize is no one turned on the cameras in the car—and Lisa is losing every shot. "I think I'm going to throw up," Lisa says.

Watch what happened

Though the team has audio, they have no video. "I lost a segment or two in the show and we can't afford to do that," Lisa says. We still have another day and a half to go here, and we have to make sure that we don't miss a beat again. So now I'm going to go into hyper-producer mode and I'm going to start micromanaging everything."

Oprah makes Moscow Mules

Oprah and Gayle's campsite is no ordinary setup. "On the surface it looks like just two women in a car going to Yosemite," Oprah says. "But if you're looking behind the scenes, you see that it takes an army of people." Specifically, 14 cameras, 35 crew members and a gourmet menu. Still, Lisa, an avid camper herself, wants Oprah to come away with a sense of what the full camping experience is like. "I grew up camping and so I thought, 'Boy, if Oprah and Gayle could get out of their box and do something a lot of Americans do, everybody would be really entertained,'" she says.

Having worked up a thirst setting up the pop-up camper, Oprah starts making her new favorite drink, Moscow Mules. When the crew can't rustle up a juicer for her lime, Oprah uses her teeth instead.

Get the recipe

The crew holds back laughter. "What I never thought was funny was me squeezing the lime with my teeth," Oprah says. "That's what you do I think when you're camping. You're resourceful. Not the most sanitary thing, but it's effective."

Watch Oprah and Gayle bring Moscow Mules to neighboring campers 

Oprah cooks dinner


As night falls, Oprah decides to cook dinner over the campfire—without using the recipes the team left for her. "As I'm opening the food tins, I see there's fresh basil, there's tarragon, there's beets," Oprah says. "I would have been happy making sandwiches. As I learned, that is what most people are doing. And I would say if you're going to go camping that is what you should do."

Watch Oprah cook dinner

Oprah settles on sea bass and rosemary potatoes. When Lisa sees that Oprah isn't cooking her fish correctly, producer Eric stops her from stepping in. "It's kind of funny if it burns or something," he says.

After some trial and error, Oprah and Gayle sit down to dinner. "Cheers," Oprah says. "[To] our first camping trip...and maybe our last."

See who stopped by for roasted marshmallows and a campsite story after dinner
Oprah and Gayle

At the end of the night, Lisa calls a meeting with Oprah, Gayle and the crew to discuss the next day's activities.

Watch what happened 

Though fly fishing and a mule ride are on the docket for the next day, Oprah and Gayle say they've already felt the full camping experience. "I feel it," Oprah says. "Truly, I have had a camping experience."

"It's the end of the day and I'm a little disappointed because I really wanted her on a personal level to have an authentic camping experience, which I'm now understanding she's not really into," Lisa says. "So we might not have the same likes."

Oprah, Gayle and Lisa

Over scrambled cage-free eggs the next morning, Oprah and Gayle start to question Lisa about how long they will need to rough it before returning to civilization. "I would say about the camping experience—I don't know how people do it. I think it is extremely intense when it comes to preparation beforehand and the work involved," Oprah says. "I think by the time you get home you need a vacation."

Watch their conversation—and see how Oprah and Gayle react when they learn the Yogi Bear discussion wasn't filmed.

Although Lisa has planned a whole day of fly fishing and mule riding, she has to quickly readjust her plans when Oprah says she’s ready to go. "Oprah is done camping. She's had it. She's had enough and she wants to go home," Lisa says. "She's slashing everything. ... I'm starting to panic a little bit."

Fly fishing

Oprah and Gayle agree to fly fish, but not for as long as Lisa originally intended. "What I really want is for Oprah to have a great experience," Lisa says. "Fly fishing is slow, but I'm just hoping funny things happen between the two of them and we can make something entertaining out of it."

Gayle isn't as enthused about fly fishing, but Oprah is determined to enjoy it. "The time that I was there standing in the water fly fishing, I thought, 'I'm going to really appreciate this moment. Heaven only knows when I'll get a chance to do this again,'" Oprah says. "For that brief time I was there, I took it all in. Let myself feel it for a moment."

After the trip, Oprah says she loved fly fishing. "I've got all my fly fishing gear hanging in the closet right now ready for my next trip."
Mule riding

When the trout runs dry, it's onto mule riding. Oprah wants to skip it, but Gayle convinces her to give it a go. "When you're out in the field with Oprah, you have to be willing to give things up," Lisa says. "Thank God for Gayle because Gayle's the one who saved it."

Oprah says it's not that she didn't want to ride the mules. "I love the producers. However, they make the mistake of thinking all of this is fun for me," she says. "This is still work—with a little fun. Would I like to be able to ride some mules up a mountain and have a lovely picnic? Would I like to be able to go fly fishing? Yeah, I would love to be able to do that without all [the cameras]."

After a short mule ride, it's a wrap. "Good job," Gayle says. "The whole crew was amazing."

Lisa is pleased with the shoot. "We just wrapped. Oprah and Gayle left happy, I think," she says. "The next step is to edit. We're going to sit down and watch every bit of video tape we shot and we're going to find out where the funny moments are—where the sweet moments are—and put together the show."
Lisa's team toasts

After the show is scripted, edited and taped, Lisa's team head out to celebrate with Moscow Mules. "To Yosemite," Lisa says. "We did it, we went there, we survived."

Meanwhile back at Harpo Studios, senior producer Jack and his team are working to secure an interview with Oksana Grigorieva, Mel Gibson’s ex-girlfriend. While the booking could make headlines around the world, behind the scenes it's falling apart.

See if Jack can salvage the show 


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