Paterson was not just adventurous with her words — calling Eleanor Roosevelt "a pathetic fool" for instance — but the first time she flew, November 5, 1912, she set a record for reaching an altitude of 5,000 feet, flying higher than any woman had to that point. The 26-year old Canadian frontier girl sat beside pilot Harry Bingham Brown in the tiny Wright biplane, constructed of cloth and wood and said afterward, "It was the greatest experience of my life."
In Utah, she attended school but a month before asking to leave. She knew more than the teacher and at seven years old she was already reading "a consideration of Bryan's stand on the free silver question." So readings the teacher offered, like the Little Red Hen, provided no stimulation.