2 – You’ll want to move away from artificial light like in a town. If you live in a fairly rural area then try just turning all your house and yard lights off. Give your eyes some time to adjust.
3 - As we, the San Luis Valley/Colorado/the USA are in the Northern Hemisphere (any location north of the equator). The Milky Way shows to the southern part of the night sky.
4 – Milky Way Season – starts mid-March and ends mid-October with the summer months being the most optimal.
5 – Here are a few apps that numerous experts recommended to calculate where the Milky Way will be in the sky in relation to your location – 1 - PhotoPills, 2 – Stellarium, 3 - Skyguide, 4 – Photographer’s Ephemeris
There are lots of conversations about cameras, exposures, lenses, etc so things can get a little complex but just test things out.
Here is an article that will give you some additional insights and advice - DarkSiteFinder.com