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Dr. Martin Griffin, North Bay conservationist credited with halting coastal freeway, dies at 103

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In the 1930's, Marty Griffin found his social milieu in Boy Scout Troop 51, under the leadership of Brighton “Bugs” Cain, who earned his nickname for his love of entomology.

He never had trouble finding a passion, starting with knot-tying in Boy Scouts. He mastered more than 100 of them, some as complex as those used by sailors on ships, and affixed them to a board that had to be widened with two hinges in order to win the local competition.

The troop did most of its overnighting in Camp Dimond in the hills of Montclair and when the camp closed Griffin never got over it. “The anguish we all felt when the Oakland Boy Scout Council sold Camp Dimond for development has shaped my entire life,” he wrote in his memoir.

To get from Oakland to Stinson Beach for another overnighter, Bugs Cain put Troop 51 on the Key Route train to the Oakland Mole, where they switched to the San Francisco ferry then the Sausalito Ferry, then the train to Mill Valley. It was a long hike from there but when he saw Bolinas Lagoon from the Dipsea Trail, it was suddenly worth being wet from the overnight drizzle and the blisters on his feet.

“Behind the lagoon, thirty-mile-long Bolinas Ridge, an arm of Mt. Tamalpais, loomed in the mist,” he wrote nearly 40 years later. “The smell of salt from the crashing surf at Stinson Beach combined with the aroma of coastal sage after a rain, was unforgettable.” That made an impression and three decades later, he came to the defense of the wildlife in that sparkling saltwater lagoon against the proposed encroachment of a freeway.

More of Dr. Griffin's life story including his work as a physician, environmentalist, and public health advocate at source link.  BTW, he still has that hinged display board of 100 knots.

Scout Salute and Farewell,


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