Let's Talk story Category: Activities
In the depth of the night, along a lonely dirt trail on Oahu’s North Shore, a runner slogs on. One foot in front of the other, his cadence is slow but deliberate. The dim of his headlamp meekly illuminates his path forward. For the next few hours, the runner will make his way through the bush, clocking in one mile after another. And when he’s done, depleted of energy and soaked in sweat, he will make his way back to a rally point where a teammate will take over and continue the race in the dead of the night.
Tucked away beneath the foothills of the Waianae Mountain range stands the quaint town of Waialua and its iconic sugar mill. For nearly a century, this historic mill was responsible for producing a hefty bulk of the state’s sugar export. In fact, at one point, the mill produced almost 10 percent of the state’s sugar and was home to hundreds of plantation workers.
However, as the plantation days of old came to a close in the late 19th century and sugar production gradually moved away from the state, the plantation ceased operations in the mid 1990s. But in the wake of the plant’s shutdown, a new opportunity arose as more than 30 small businesses and manufacturers opened up shop, breathing new life into the mill and attracting leagues of customers searching for locally made products.