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Posted: August 31, 2017

Couple fulfills goal of visiting every Cracker Barrel in America


By Zuri Davis, Rare.us

TUALATIN, Ore. —

Ray Yoder celebrated his 81st birthday at a Cracker Barrel with his wife, Wilma, on Monday, but the couple had something even bigger to celebrate. The Goshen, Indiana, couple visited all 645 Cracker Barrels in America.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Couple's quest to visit every Cracker Barrel in America nears end

“Travel was in our blood and we’ve always liked it,” Ray said. “And, of course, the best place to eat was at Cracker Barrel. It took the boredom out of the highway to eat there because it was so much like home — we could order what we liked, and they always had what we liked.”

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The employees at the Tualatin, Oregon, Cracker Barrel helped make the visit special by giving customized aprons and forming a “clap tunnel” for the pair, cheering them on when they arrived. Cracker Barrel also gave the Yoders an all-expenses-paid trip to the Oregon location.

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Cracker Barrel even made a video to commemorate the achievement:

>> Watch the video here


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Anna Reed/AP

Couple fulfills goal of visiting every Cracker Barrel in America

Anna Reed/AP

Couple fulfills goal of visiting every Cracker Barrel in America

Ray and Wilma Yoder, both 81, visit their 645th Cracker Barrel store in Tualatin, Ore., on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The Indiana couple has traveled to every Cracker Barrel in the country over the past 40 years. (Anna Reed/Statesman-Journal via AP)

Couple's quest to visit every Cracker Barrel in America nears end

An Indiana couple have nearly completed their decades-long quest to visit every one of the 665 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations across the United States, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Ray and Wilma Yoder, both 80, have only one location left to visit: a Cracker Barrel in Tualatin, Oregon, The Lebanon Democrat and the “Today” show reported.

Ray Yoder told the newspaper he embarked on his mission to visit each Cracker Barrel 40 years ago, while he was working a job that saw him traveling the country to deliver recreational vehicles.

“It took the boredom out of being on the road,” Ray Yoder told the Democrat. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home.”

His trips were initially made without his wife, who stayed home with their four children, according to a 2015 report from The News Herald in Morganton, North Carolina. Wilma Yoder eventually joined her husband.

In the 1980s, Ray Yoder said the couple thought, “Well, now why don’t we try to go to all of them?”

“It’s not like a McDonald’s place, where they have 26 or 30 thousand of them,” Ray Yoder told The News Herald. “It was something we wanted to do, so we are trying to hit all of them.”

The Yoders have since traveled more than 5 million miles in their quest, which once included trips to eight Cracker Barrel locations in a single day, according to the Democrat.

In all their visits in the last 40 years, Ray Yoder said, they never had a bad experience.

“It’s the same good service and great people wherever you go,” he told the Democrat.

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