I've never been anywhere with a dark enough sky & a big enough sky to see the milky way. Some places I've lived the sky is orange at night from all the city lights
I have looked through a telescope, but just the once.
I went on a field trip to see Haley's comet. The telescope was set up to view the proper part of the sky but it wasnt a very powerful telescope & there was a lot of light pollution so I hold that my /eye/ saw Haley's comet even if my brain didnt register the fact. ;)
I have never been to the desert. Nor do I know the name of the horse... ;)