I can't think of where to start this. Was it the first time I traveled coast to coast in a truck? The first time I drove a truck professionally? The first time I drove my own truck?
There's a lot of ground (literally) in between those events.
Guess I'll start at where I can remember... Sherman, set the WABAC machine to 1966!
My first cross country trucking experience was bouncing on top of the doghouse of a White Freightliner with a 318 Detroit. Dad drove for Walter Hales and his trucks were leased to Leonard Brothers. They hauled a lot of military freight. I got on the truck with Dad in Bridgeport and the load was going to an AFB in Maine. We got there, smuggled me on base (this was way before 9/11) and unloaded then went to New York and loaded a crane gear going to California. I distinctly remember a massive traffic jam going thru New York City. I had never seen that many cars (or people) in my life.
We had to gateway (drive thru) Florida which made the trip much longer and this was before the days of Interstates. There was more interstate "under construction" than constructed. You still drove the old US highway system thru towns. Most roads ran right thru the middle of town and you actually saw what each city was about instead of 2 exits and a chain truckstop. Think "Cars and Radiator Springs".
This was also long before CB's. A system of hand signals and light flashes was used back then. Not to be confused with a system of hand signals and light flashes used in a rest area or truck stop today. Two completely different things. Trucks weren't as lavish inside as they are now. It was all business. Mostly metal and glass with no built in refrigerator, walk-in sleeper or television. You were lucky if there was an aftermarket air conditioner on the truck. Even luckier if it worked.
It was also several years before Will & Sonny and their fancy big rig.
Now if you want to hear about the time I was dumped off with a stranger at a New Jersey truckstop and smuggled 100 miles away into Delaware after a company driver snitched on Dad... that's another post.
No wonder I still get "itchy feet" to go back on the road.