Oprah's Fresno visit surprised shoppers

October 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many shoppers in Fresno could not believe their eyes when they spotted Oprah Winfrey shopping at River Park!

Action News has learned Oprah and Gayle are going camping in Yosemite this weekend and of course, they needed camping supplies for the trip.

A lot of people walked out of REI in disbelief. I heard a lot of shoppers saying "what are the chances?" the store was open to the public all while Oprah and Gayle King geared up for Yosemite.

Imagine the shock for shoppers inside 'REI' Friday morning when they saw a casually dressed Oprah Winfrey and her BFF Gayle walk in.

Christine McClaskey said, "I was very surprised. I wanted to get a couple of things, and then there she is." Sontaya asks, "Did you say anything?" "I did not, they said clear the aisle and so I did."

Action News cameras weren't allowed inside, and security was very tight as Oprah scouted out supplies she and Gayle would need for their first ever camping trip together.

Rhonda Beck was among the unsuspecting customers totally caught off guard. "Who would think you would see Oprah in a store in Fresno?"

She immediately began snooping around near Oprah -- just to see what the two were buying.

"They each bought a sleeping bag. They bought a tent, they bought chairs, Oprah said she was going to have her morning coffee outside of their trailer in the morning, they bought fanny packs and water bottles and some type of camping pants of some sort, and it was fun!"

We watched as Oprah got a brief lesson on how to open the pop-up tent trailer, and what amenities the camper provides.

The hour-long visit was kept quiet, even as Oprah prepared to leave. Only a few dozen people gathered outside to capture any snapshot they could. Then, of course, everyone had to rush to tell a friend about the sighting.

Donna Kuntz said, "I had to email, text my friend Gloria who is also a big fan so she's probably going to be jumping up and down wishing she was here."

Before Oprah and Gayle pulled away with the trailer hitched to the back of their hybrid Chevy Tahoe, Gayle got a few words of wisdom from fans. Including some driving tips for the windy roads. "Yeah be careful with the curves up there?"

Several shoppers out here wondered if Oprah and Gayle were really planning to camp and not stay in a hotel in Yosemite

We did contact representatives with the Oprah Winfrey show Friday afternoon. And they confirmed the two will be camping for one night, possibly two.

Right now the show is set to air the last week in October.