This was probably my biggest challenge yet. I’ve flown a little in the hills, but most of my flying is in the south east where it’s pretty flat. Flew from Florida to Pennsylvania yesterday. We didn’t have much trouble dropping under the cloud layer, but as usual I did it too soon and the last 35 miles was a series of kidney punches flying over the last few ridges. The wind sock was straight out, not even a little sagging. We hadn’t heard a soul on the radio for this airport for those 35 miles. Now I know why. the wind was coming from the northwest and it took the entire rudder to keep the nose down the runway. When it gusted, it wasn’t enough. Lots of mechanical turbulence from the ridge. We were bouncing around like popcorn in an air popper, and in retrospect I should have come in a little hotter, but I landed on the center line and didn’t break anything. The ridge on the south is 1000 feet above the airport and the one to the north is about 1500 feet higher. A big deal to a Florida boy. The valley was plenty wide, but it was still challenging for me, especially after flying for 6 hours.