As a young man, John Francis witnesses the devastating effects of a 1971 oil spill in San Francisco Bay. He stops using motorised transportation and begins a walk that will continue for twenty-two years and span two continents. A few months later, he takes a vow of silence that lasts seventeen years. Through his silence and walking he learns to listen and to become a good steward of the earth. Born the son of West Indian immigrants in North Philadelphia, John overcomes fear and the objections of his family as he walks from California to Montana in silence, earning college and graduate degrees in science and environmental studies. He then walks through America's heartland, where he earns a PhD. in land resources. When he reaches the East Coast, the United Nations Environment Programme appoints him goodwill ambassador to the world's grassroots communities, and the U.S. government recruits him to write oil spill regulations following the Exxon Valdez disaster." Planetwalker" is the deeply personal and engaging story of John's remarkable journey - the positive experiences, the challenging times, the diverse characters encountered, the majesty of our land - and the wisdom he gained along the way. Along with John's poems, drawings, and watercolors, the book also contains practical suggestions on how we too can become better stewards of the earth and make our own pilgrimages both great and small.