The gravel road up was about 5 miles and supposed to be smooth. Turns out it had a lot of sharp curves, and wasn't totally smooth. We had one scary moment when Farm Boss braked sharply. It turned out the cattle guard didn't go all the way to the edge of the road and in his mirror he saw that our trailer was about to land in a hole that would have had us getting out jacks and who knows how getting ourselves out of it.
So, I had to get out of the truck and make hand signals so he'd know where he was safe as he drove back over it this time without the scare. With the truck and trailer on one side, I looked uneasily at the cattle-guard realizing I'd have to walk across it. They are metal bars with spaces between. Although you'd not fall in very far, it's not something that makes me comfortable. He knew that and hence was already back to help me across.
So after that, the road was good, the scenery totally spectacular as it had been all the way-- except when we pulled into their place, they were burning juniper brush. Because of my sinus problems and at one time asthma, I am someone who really cannot take smoke. We looked and it appeared anywhere they allowed camping would be in the path of the smoke; so, after explaining the situation to the owner, we headed back down the same road, more cautiously around the cattle-guard.
The landscape though on the road up and down was so good that it made the detour well worth it especially with all the fossil beds closed. They are well worth time if you are ever in that area. There are no dinosaur fossils because during the age of the dinosaurs all of Oregon was under water; but this is about the age of the mammals. There are fossils under much of that pretty rock, some already dug up and some will remain there forever. It is a geologist and archaeologist's paradise. Pretty good scenery for everybody else too.
We may go back sometime when the lighting is better although with the rain and misty quality, it gave a fantasy feel to the grandiose landscapes.
And finally we were on pavement and heading north with the John Day River to follow for awhile.