Lou and Marye Roeser tell tales of life in the high country
When Marye Roeser first came to work summers as a guide at High Sierra Camp, the only road to the Lakes Basin was Old Mammoth Road. “It wasn’t paved, in fact, none of the roads in Mammoth were paved,” Mary told The Sheet. “It was little more than the wagon road it started out as.” She relayed this over iced tea at the ranch she and her husband own in Coleville, up by Mount Patterson in the Antelope Valley.
Marye and her husband Lou owned and operated the Mammoth Lakes Pack Outfit for thirty-eight years, from 1960 to 1998. They created Sierra Meadows Equestrian and Cross-Country Ski Center, from which they led sleigh rides and ski tours for twenty-five winters. Marye taught at Antelope Elementary and Coleville High Schools for twenty years, and Lou did location scouting and provided horses for the western film industry and for commercials shot in the Eastern Sierra. He starred as a cowboy in a few Marlboro commercials, and John Wayne once tried to buy his favorite horse – he naturally declined the offer.
Marye and Lou met while Marye was working as a Manager and guiding day-trips by horseback out of High Sierra Camp in 1952. Lou, an Arizona cowboy, found Eastern California while traveling to Oregon. He worked his first summer at High Sierra Camp as a packer in 1952. He and Marye were married six months after they met, in March of 1953.