TUALATIN, Ore. (KOIN) — Ray Yoder celebrated his 81st birthday Monday morning with his wife Wilma and blueberry pancakes at the Cracker Barrel in Tualatin.
That’s not necessarily unusual. But what made it special was this was the 645th Cracker Barrel they’ve visited — literally every one in the United States — and they were flown here all-expenses paid by the Cracker Barrel.
From their 40-acre farm in Goshen, Indiana to the front door of the Tualatin Cracker Barrel, the Yoders arrived early Monday to a celebrity welcome.
“Well, it’s quite special,” Ray told KOIN 6 News. “These little farm kids aren’t used to all this hype.”
He said he had the idea to eat at every Cracker Barrel back in the 1970s. While their feat seems incredible, Ray has humility about what he and Wilma have done.
“Well, everybody does something, usually. So we thought we would do this and it would be fun. So, it worked out.”
Ray put blueberry syrup on his blueberry pancakes, and Wilma added some hash browns to her breakfast of eggs and sausage. They said they plan to be back for the Beaverton store opening next year and then then Jantzen Beach location.
After this trip, the Yoders will fly to a taping of The Steve Harvey Show and may also appear on Kelly & Ryan.
The Yoders usually drive or make it part of a vacation, and both said they like to travel. But their trip to the Portland area opened Ray’s eyes to something he didn’t expect.
“I like you guys here on the West Coast,” he told KOIN 6 News. “You’re alright, actually. Super!”