It costs ~$200 to go from LA to Portland on Amtrak. The trip is slated to take 30 hours (unless you take a bus and a train and a bus to get to Sacramento, then its ~23 hours) by train each way. The mileage for the trip is ~950 miles.
By car, 950 miles is 3 tanks of gas, and 14 gallons at $4/gal is $168, but lets round up to $175 for a one-way drive. Google maps has the trip at only 14+ hours by car, though. The question becomes, is it worth $150 to save 16 hours each way and to have a car when one arrives in Portland? Would those 14 hours on a train equate to useful writing/working time?
That is all for now.