Randall, the photo above (#8) and your photo in post #5 are how your scope will be oriented most of the time when you're viewing; finder side up. Your second photo (#6) is the worst case scenario pointing to the north celestial pole or North Star. On an EQ fork, that's the most difficult eyepiece position, aimed at the NCP, as the eyepiece is down into the fork and difficult to look through. Fortunately, aside from very near the pole, most of the sky will not be that difficult to view.
Note in the photo above of the black SCT, the manual RA control knob is on the tripod base side of the fork, where you can reach it easily, not flipped over to the top side.
You'll get the hang of it with a little practice. Get an adjustable chair to sit on and you can get comfortable at most of the viewing angles.