COLD SPRING, Ky. -- Forty-four states and 646 Cracker Barrel visits later, an 80-year-old Indiana couple has accomplished the ultimate goal.
Ray and Wilma Yoder have officially visited every Cracker Barrel in the country.
The stopped by the Old Country Store’s newest location in Cold Spring Friday morning to cross the latest spot off their list.
The Yoders' quest started 40 years ago when Ray delivered recreational vehicles around the country. He said the restaurant has became more than just a place to grab a bite on the road.
“It took the boredom out of being on the road,” Ray told The Lebanon Democrat. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly. It’s like being at home.”
The Yoders have become quasi-celebrities at Cracker Barrel locations, saying they often receive gift baskets and requests for photos from staff when they visit a new store. Ray, an avid checkers player, told The Lebanon Democrat that he notices when checkers boards are turned the wrong way or when particular items in a store are inconsistent with other locations.
The Yoders’ have been married for 61 years, and while they both love the restaurant’s cooking, they can’t agree on their favorite menu item.
"For breakfast … it’s gotta be blueberry pancakes with bacon of course,” Ray said.
Wilma said she’s partial to the hash brown casserole.
City officials also presented the Yoders’ a key to Cold Spring for their “remarkable appetite for adventure.”
The couple’s Cracker Barrel tour doesn’t end in Kentucky. The two plan to travel to Philadelphia next month to visit a store opening there.
The Cold Spring location opens to the public at 6 a.m. Monday.