Cracker Barrel lovers, meet the most dedicated fan couple of them all…Ray and Wilma Yoder. This adorable elderly pair has been to 644 out of 645 Cracker Barrels in the United States. Surprisingly, they are still in good health, despite the mass consumption of chicken n’ dumplings and hearty gravy.
Forty years ago, their journey to visit every Cracker Barrel in the country began. Why? Ray has been working for Coachman, delivering recreational vehicles and RVs all over the U.S. He thought of a fun, spontaneous way to make all of the driving a little more interesting. The Indiana couple travels together to the restaurant locations, to enjoy some quality hand holding, eye gazing, and a heaping stack of pancakes together.
“It took the boredom out of being on the road,” he said, adding, “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home.” Ray and Wilma have traveled over 5 million miles to all of the southern-style eateries, including the new one in Georgia, which they visiting on its opening day, July 7th of 2017.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s something we’ve followed this long, but it’s gained attention in the last 10 years or so,” Ray said. He and his wife claim to have never had a poor experience at any of the restaurants. “It’s the same good service and great people wherever you go,” Ray said. The humble 80-year-olds just want to enjoy a nice southern meal with friendly staff and smiles all around. “We always buy something — a cup of coffee, candy or something. We don’t just pull into the parking lot and leave,” he said. Their last location to visit? Oregon. We are sad to see their precious journey end, but we wish them luck on number 645!