Eastside Boat Ramp

In a small town like Coos Bay that is void of many typical teenage hotspots, local teenagers have to find their own hang-out spots and places to go when they have been in quarantine too long. One popular place in this area for young people to go has become the Eastside Boat Ramp, commonly known by local boaters but now the spot for local teens to seek refuge.

On any normal week day you might see the parking lot filled with trucks and boat trailers, but if you go after hours you just might see Hailey Lowas and her group of friends. Marshfield High School junior Hailey Lowas often frequents the boat ramp with her friends to do a variety of things like blasting music, drinking Dutch Bros, taking pictures on the dock and playing games in the large parking lot.

“My best memory at the east side boat ramp is when me and my group of friends played hide and seek around the parking lot at night and we also played tag,” Lowas said.

It has become a special spot to many people, with an extensive view of the Coos Bay Boardwalk and an overall view of the city. During times of lockdown the boat ramp became a place for friends to safely socially distance while they hang out. Some teens are just getting to see each other for the first time sime school first closed in March 2020.

“The reason that a lot of people go there is because it’s like a meet up spot and it’s easy to find,” said Lowas. “It’s fun to go there cause we can all be in a group outside.”

Many students at MHS have attended Millicoma Middle School in Eastside and some say they went the whole time without even knowing the boat ramp was there. One Marshfield senior that attended Millicoma is Mirabella Matthews. She recalls that she had started hanging out at the boat ramps only just this year and how it was not a place people visited when she was in middle school.

“I think it was just like this year, cause when I was in middle school it wasn’t really that popular even though my middle school is like right there,” Matthews said. “But since high school I feel like it’s become more popular.”

With many places closed and teenagers’ summers looking a lot different than they have in the past, the Eastside Boat Dock has become a solace for many teens. With traveling at a minimum and Coos Bay being such a small town, many teens were worried their summers would be ruined. Through all the trials and tribulations that come with a pandemic, the Eastside Boat Ramp is a place where people can make memories, take pictures and hang out with friends without the pressures of family or life weighing on them.

“It’s special to me because I have a lot of great memories with friends there,” said Matthews.