Okay, I'm getting desperate to find more hints without the big giveaway... so let's clarify (a bit) clue two.
Alders. Those alders are telling you something very important, and very relevant, to the answer of the question, "what's across the road?"
What do alders tell you about the areas where you find them growing?
Followup: The commenters on Dana's post are getting *so* close to the answer, it makes my brain hurt! I'll post the final clue later this afternoon.
Earth Day, the Geological Perspective
2 days ago