Charles Burchfield wrote in a journal about a bike ride from his hometown of Salem to Irondale, Ohio, an industrial city in the southeast, near the Ohio River that forms the border between Ohio and West Virginia. His painting The Storm Over Irondale was created from the sketches he made during this trip. Burchfield wrote in his journal: “This trip was a source of surprise and admiration for me, the reason for which became higher hills; it was noon; there was a tremendous calm in the air;
On June 8 of the following year, he wrote about a trip home from Cleveland to Salem, Ohio. During the trip more than 70 miles he stayed in different cities and even fell asleep in the deep grass in a ditch along the road.
On September 29 and 30, 2018, Tullis Johnson, Julian Montague, and Jim Silenko drove more than 120 miles from Cleveland to Irondale, Ohio, along the approximate routes Charles Burchfield traveled on his bicycle in 1920 and 1921. The trip began in the Cleveland Museum of Art in Wade Park and past Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, his orphanage in Salem and several other places that inspired Burchfield's paintings at the beginning of his career.