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Canada and back again in 51 days

Moen, Rash turn annual trips into gallery exhibit at library

GTNS photo by Isaac Hamlet

Nancy Rash stands next to an image of Emerald Lake, her favorite photo in “Canada in 51 Days” a display put up by her and her husband Lyle Moen. The couple have had a photo display in the Library every year for the past 28 years.
GTNS photo by Isaac Hamlet Nancy Rash stands next to an image of Emerald Lake, her favorite photo in “Canada in 51 Days” a display put up by her and her husband Lyle Moen. The couple have had a photo display in the Library every year for the past 28 years.
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The Washington Public Library has changed locations since Lyle Moen and Nancy Rash started hanging their photos there 28 years ago, but they haven’t missed a year since.

This year their featured exhibit, “Canada in 51 Days,” will hang on the library’s second floor until Jan. 31.

Moen has been the main force behind the photographs. It was his photography hobby they followed as they documented their trips across the country, and him who decides the theme each year.

According to Moen, their process has become him and his wife discussing a mutual interest until they find a place they both want to go. After that, he plans their driving route and stops along the way. After almost three decades they’ve traveled to and photographed 45 National Parks.

“We were in Canada 26 Days, but it was a 51 day trip,” Rash said. “We drove from Nova Soctia and just drove west across the Trans-Canada Highway.”

The display includes images from Washington, D.C., and other stops on their way up to Canada as well as the maps they used where they highlighted their route.

“Usually we about one photo per mile,” Rash said. “So we were on a 12,000 mile trip and (Moen) had over 6,000 digital images from our 51 days.”

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The display went up at the beginning of January, but Moen has been working on preparing it since Oct. 24, the day they returned from the trip.

He got to work sorting through the 6,000 images captured on the three cameras he and Rash brought with them to select between 38 and 45 to print, frame, mat and display. All for a hobby.

“I think he would say it would cease to be fun if he was doing it as a job,” Rash said.

In the past, the library wasn’t the only place the photos were displayed. They’ve also made their way to Halcyon House and the UP Home for the residents who might not be able to get out to see the display. Now, Moen also compiles a slideshow of their trips which he sends to them.

“One of the things I think is particularly meaningful is people have called and said ‘I remember being there’ or ‘I would like to go there,’” Rash said. “When it inspires other people to remember where they’ve been, or remember some time with their family — I think that’s important.”

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