I was flying with my dad today. Seemed like a nice day, but there was a cloud layer at 8000 or 10,000 feet I believe. Just a tiny bit of rain. Winds were calm on the ground. Took off and as I was climbing from about 3000 feet to 4500 feet it started getting a little rough. No big deal. As I approached Squaw Peak (just north of Phoenix SkyHarbor) it started getting a little nuts (in my mind - to most folks on here it was probably light turbulence ). At one point my stall warning horn went off for like a split second (I was climbing out at 85 mph). WTH? Anyways at this point I thought I was in a microburst or virga and living my last moments (I am being a little dramatic, but it was a little scary). I had a really tough time getting to 4500 as I kept hitting these 400-600 fpm downdrafts (and I needed 4500 for the Bravo transition). So I get up to 4500 and trying to maintain that altitude was tough. One minute I was hauling butt and in a large up draft, the next I was in a 600 fpm downdraft. Anyways...it was a bit of a wild ride and I was nervous as hell. So I told PHX Approach I wanted to head back to Deer Valley. Once I got closer to Deer Valley and below about 3000 feet it was smooth. My dad didn't mind it, apparently he can fly through a tornado and it's all fine and dandy. At one point he kind of chuckled and said "haha yea its pretty rough up here". Meanwhile I was wrestling the beast. So a few questions/comments for the elite pilots of PoA: 1. Was I just being a wimp or is it a good thing I turned around? 2. At what point is it time to turn around? How do you know if you are truly in dangerous conditions? 3. How do you guys gauge if there are any potential microbursts in the area? 4. The Cherokee 140 isn't exactly a stellar performer so I get a little worried when I start seeing big downdrafts that I really can't climb out of. Thanks. Hope I don't get a beat down on this one. I felt real defeated when I landed. Not a good feeling.