Ray and Wilma Yoder’s secret to marital bliss has a lot to do with meatloaf and blueberry pancakes. Together, they have been visiting Cracker Barrel locations all over the U.S. over the past 40 years. In fact, they are just one stop away from visiting all 645 locations.
After 60 years together, it looks like they’ve found an amazing way to continuing dating each other. Ray and Wilma began their historical journey back in the 1960s when Ray was traveling across the country as an RV driver. Ray, now 80, tells ABC News that while on the road, Cracker Barrel always gave him the feeling of being at home.
“They were always along the main Interstate so you’d have to have your eyes closed to miss them,” he said of the Tennessee based restaurant chain. “It’s nice when you’re out there driving that there’s a place that can be so much like home when you’re away from home.”
His wife started joining him on those cross-country trips and before knowing it, they were on a path to something special. Ray and Wilma started keeping track by taking a map from each store and circling the location.
They’ve also made this incredible adventure a family affair. The couple, whom have 4 children, began to rely on them to keep them up to date on new store openings.
So far the couple has visited 644 of the Old Country Stores. They even visited 10 in one day on a drive along the East Coast from Orlando to Canada. The couple makes every stop count, too.
“We don’t drive in the parking lot and say, ‘Now we’re here,'” he said. “We go in a spend a little of money. We’re not rich but we’ll buy a coffee to go or a little bit of candy.”
Ray and Wilma are so well-known for their adventure that they are now somewhat celebrities. Cracker Barrel has started inviting them to ribbon cutting ceremonies at new locations. They are even getting stopped for photos when they come in to dine.
The couple plans on visiting the final Cracker Barrel store in Portland, Ore. later this year. But they say they’ll keep on adding to the list if more stores open after that.
“For two old people, we’re pretty fast moving,” Ray Yoder says. “We’re still healthy and we enjoy it so we keep doing it.”