Log Cabin in Arkansas
On another recent trip, @xcountytravelers passed by a log cabin and Ren snapped a photo for me. She had plenty of things on her schedule to accomplish, so she said I could write this post to present the charming little structure to our blockchain readers.
When I began writing this, I'd heard of log cabins all my life, was familiar with them, and have seen a few in my day. However, I had no clue that their method of construction went back as far into history as they do!
Construction with logs was described by Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio in his architectural treatise De Architectura. He noted that in Pontus (modern-day northeastern Turkey), dwellings were constructed by laying logs horizontally overtop of each other and filling in the gaps with "chips and mud".
Historically, log cabin construction has its roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably being built in Northern Europe by the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). 
The whitish material seen between the logs in the photo is referred to as "chinking" "Traditional chinking was made of clay, mud, sand, and other common resources."  The purpose of the chinking is two-fold. First, it closes any gaps between the logs that could allow drafts of cold air to pass in the winter, and keeps out hot air in the summer. If ventilation is needed on a hot summer day, windows can be opened for a cross-breeze. Second, closing the holes between the logs keeps bugs out.
The chinking material is compounded in such a way that it is somewhat sticky and therefore flexible. As the logs absorb heat, cold, and moisture with changing weather conditions, they slightly expand and contract. Flexible chinking keeps the cracks closed.
This lovely log cabin is beside US Highway 62 southeast of the town of Gateway, Arkansas (US), very close to the border between Arkansas and Missouri. This appears to be a rather new cabin, as a Streetside photo from BING Maps shows a completely different structure there in June-2011. That older structure was in a bad state of repair and falling apart, so I am sure the neighbors appreciate this newer, prettier cabin in its place.
screenshot from BING Maps
Many thanks, Ren, for capturing this delightful log cabin for us to enjoy! Half the rewards of this post will go to you!
to learn more about either of these projects, please visit: @heyhaveyamet or @theterminal