The Pole
Ear to the ground
“The crux will be getting from Page to Zion without getting pulled over.”
– A Durangoan on the eve of running the Utah gauntlet en route to a big wall climbing trip

Hot commodity
At least one Durango male is in for some action this winter. Cosmopolitan’s latest issue hit newsstands this week and “celebrates the hottest bachelors from across the country.” This year’s listing includes Jered A. Engbring, a 29-year-old aircraft mechanic from Durango.

Engbring joins dozens of eligible dudes from throughout the nation vying for best bachelor in the annual contest (his competition includes professional athletes, a race car driver, and even a set of twins from Tennessee). In the current issue, the men describe themselves and reveal what they’re looking for in a girlfriend, including their top turn-ons and dating deal-breakers.

Engbring’s “dream getaway” is on “an ultra secluded beach,” and the bachelor claims that a positive attitude means more to him than looks, at least above the waistline – his “preferred girl grooming style” just happens to be Brazilian. The bachelor is also attracted to females in tank tops, and his “sweet spots” include his chest and back.

In the “Jered says” department, the Durangoan wrote, “I’m very tight with my family and friends, and I love being outdoors – flying, hiking, camping or mountain biking.”

Telegraph and Cosmo readers can log onto and vote for their favorite through Oct. 16. The top 10 go before a panel of Cosmo editors, who will choose one of those lucky guys to be Bachelor of the Year and receive $10,000.

Cheese head
Another local man has gotten cheesier national headlines. Brian Ralph, a 26-year-old Durango native, starred in a recent New York Times story entitled, “A fragrant funk of controversy.”

The foodie tale opened in Greenwich Village’s Murray’s Cheese Shop, where Ralph is an old wheel and experimenting with the “mysterious art of affinage,” the process of maturing or aging a cheese. Prior to dabbling in the magic, Clark gave the writer a sample of Kinderhook Creek, “a bloomy-rind cheese that comes from the Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. in the Hudson Valley.”

Ralph then demonstrated the dark art of affinage by basting wheels of the cheese with an ale called Brooklyn Brewery Local 2. In the act, he converted the Kinderhook into a new species Murray’s calls “C Local.” “And C Local doesn’t taste anything like the original Kinderhook Creek that birthed it,” the author wrote. “The rind has a rusty hue. The aroma is sweetly funky. The texture has gone all gooey.”

The story concludes, “Affinage turns out to be one of the most controversial topics in the American food arena.”