National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson
was as surprised as anyone. “I was more than surprised,” he said in a recent phone conversation. “I was shocked. When the EMTs resuscitated me I was pretty much flat-lined.”
Standing outside the south entrance to Yosemite National Park, Johnson thought he was awaiting the arrival of six African-American women, all about to have their first camping experience. “I was told they’ve been friends since college and they were being reunited at a spa,” he said. “But unbeknownst to them they were being taken to Yosemite Valley for a camping trip instead. At least that’s what I thought.”
Johnson thought he was in on a clever plot to welcome a group of nature neophytes into the great outdoors. But the joke was on him.
“Here I’m expecting to meet these six African-America women and who shows but Oprah Winfrey
and her friend Gayle King
,” Johnson said. “I knew this was a project affiliated with her show, but to have Oprah right there in front of me was something else entirely. So yeah I was surprised, surprised in the best possible way.”
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