Oprah Takes a Road Trip, Pumps Gas For First Time Since 1983*

Travel Blog  •  Sarah Schmelling  •  09.18.06 | 8:17 PM ET

imageToday Oprah Winfrey launched the 21st season of her TV show with highlights from a cross-country road trip she took this summer with her very best girlfriend, Gayle King. Inspired by Chevy’s old “see the USA” slogan, the two took off in an Impala for a 11-day, 3,600-mile trek from Santa Barbara to New York. As with any good road trip, they experienced plenty of gorgeous views, traffic hazards, direction mishaps and lite-rock station sing-alongs (Celine Dion!). But what makes this different is, well, Oprah.

The footage of their trip on today’s show was comical and compelling in its own way. Oprah pumps gas for the first time since 1983. She tries to check into a hotel—the Wynn Las Vegas—at an actual desk, rather than be escorted through a private entrance. And she and Gayle do what a lot of other road trippers do: get on each other’s nerves. “By day two I was already questioning—what was I thinking?” Oprah says.

She’ll dedicate time on several upcoming shows to the trip—the next will air Tuesday, September 26. If you just can’t wait, check out photos, videos, maps and road trip tips at Oprah’s Web site.

* Update: Watch Oprah pump gas!